Making a car insurance claim

Our claims professionals are here to help, 24/7.

Step-by-step: How to file a car insurance claim

Step 1. Log into your Sonnet account

This will ensure easy access to your policy number and the coverage details of your car insurance policy.

Step 2. Call 1-844-766-6384

Call 1-844-766-6384. Be sure to listen and follow the prompts – this helps us properly direct your call and saves you time. Unless your claim is an emergency, it’s best to call during business hours.

Many claims can be settled with just a phone call or two. If your claim is more complex, we’ll put you in touch with one of our dedicated claims professionals with the right experience to help you.

Step 3. Work with a claims professional

We’ll work closely with you to collect all of the information needed. Once we’ve determined that you’re eligible to make a claim, your claims professional will walk you through the next steps. You’ll be well-informed of your coverage, the options available to you and how to get repairs started as soon as possible.

Step 4. Settling your claim

When it comes time to pay, we’ll mail you (or the repair shop) a cheque based on your coverage and the type of claim. Your claims professional will explain if and how your deductible will be applied.

Towing and roadside assistance

Sonnet provides 24-hour tow assistance after an accident – Canada-wide.

What you need to know

Before calling us to file your auto claim, here are a few things you should know or have on hand.

  • Towing. You have rights when it comes to tow trucks. Here are a few things you should know to make sure you don’t fall victim to any scams:
    • Contact your preferred towing service. Do not feel obligated to use the services of a tow truck that arrives on scene.
    • You have the right to choose where your car is towed. When in doubt, call your insurer for advice or tow it to your home first.
    • Read everything a tow truck driver asks you to sign and be sure to get an itemized invoice prior to payment.
  • Documentation. When you call to report a claim, here are some things you should have on hand to help the claims process move quickly:
    • Your policy number
    • Information needed to file the claim (date, time, incident details, etc.)
    • Reference documents (policy, receipts, photos of damage, police report, etc.)
  • Understanding fault. This is often a confusing topic during a claim. Here are a few of the misconceptions of fault during a claim:
    • The police do not determine fault when it comes to your claim. Your insurance company will investigate to determine fault based on provincial and fault determination rules.
    • Someone is always at-fault, even if you live in a no-fault province. Each driver involved will be assigned a percentage of fault between zero to 100%.
    • If you’re found at-fault, you may have to pay a portion, or all, of the deductible to repair damages to your vehicle.

Certified partners

Filing a car insurance claim is stressful. Finding a repair shop you can trust doesn’t have to add to that. Our hassle-free claims promise guarantees the quality of your repairs, and prompt, friendly service – from start to finish – when you use our pre-screened vendors.

Quality guarantee

Our partners meet stringent licensing requirements, certifications and ongoing education expectations. Plus, body, part and paintwork done as part of your car insurance claim is guaranteed as long as you own the vehicle.

Hassle-free

No need to go to the trouble of gathering quotes and assessing repair shops. We’ll deal directly with the vendor and can book your rental onsite.

Save money

The cost of claims and insurance fraud are factors that affect your insurance premiums. By working with certified partners to handle claims, we can control these factors and help keep your premiums lower.

“From the moment we joined Sonnet, we felt protected. We were fully covered for damages to our vehicle and couldn’t be happier with the repair outcome. The process was a breeze!” “We recently made a claim and they were FANTASTIC to deal with. Great job Sonnet!” “I was initially nervous about dealing with my first ever insurance claim, but the team at Sonnet made things very simple and painless.”

Looking for more information about our auto claims process?

Your claims professional will guide you through the process and answer all your questions, but here are a few of the most common things people want to know.

What is accident forgiveness?

What is Accident Forgiveness?

Having first-time Accident Forgiveness coverage on your auto insurance means that if you have a chargeable at-fault accident, it won’t be rated at renewal. In other words, your premium won’t go up because of it. 

How does Accident Forgiveness insurance work?

If you have car insurance with Accident Forgiveness, this waiver will protect you from seeing a direct increase on your premiums because of the claim at renewal. This endorsement only applies to your first at-fault claim. Keep in mind, there will still be a record of this accident and if you switch insurers, you could be rated for this claim by your new provider.

How do you qualify for Accident Forgiveness?

At Sonnet, we offer Accident Forgiveness automatically as long as you qualify for it:

  • You must not have a chargeable at-fault accident in  the last six years
  • You must be licensed continuously for the last six years 
  • You must be insured continuously for the last six years (Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & PEI only)
  • You must not have had your auto coverage cancelled for non-payment 
  • You must not have four or more minor convictions or any other major, serious or criminal convictions in the past three years

Does your car insurance increase after an accident?

Yes. Without Accident Forgiveness, your car insurance premium will most likely increase following a chargeable accident. This is because part of your premium is calculated based on your driving history and overall risk. 

What should I do if I’m involved in a hit and run?

If you’re involved in a hit and run accident, there are a few key steps to help you handle to situation:

  1. If anyone was injured, first call 911. Safety is always top priority. If you, your passengers, the other driver or any pedestrians were injured, always attend to this first.
  2. Report the hit and run to the police within 24 hours. If advised by the police, go to a collision reporting centre. This step is important since your accident needs to have been reported in order for it to be reviewed as a not-at-fault loss when you make a claim. 

    Tip: If the police tell you that the damages are too minor to report, take down their badge number and phone number so your insurer can follow up.

  3. Record as much information as you can. If you were in your car or nearby when it happened, take note of details like the colour, make/model and some or all of the licence plate number.
  4. Take photos. If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the scene, damage to your vehicle, or visible paint on your vehicle from the other car.
  5. Gather witnesses. If others were nearby and saw what happened, talk to them and add to your own notes. Take down their contact information in case police or your insurer need to follow up.
  6. You’ll then need to contact us.
Does my car insurance cover theft of personal items?

It depends on what’s stolen from your car. Certain items are covered by car insurance, and others by home insurance.

If your car is broken into, your auto insurance will cover items that are actually a part of your vehicle (for example, the stereo that came with your car, or hubcaps).

All other personal items – like a laptop, cell phone, gym bag or sporting equipment – would be covered under your homeowners, tenant, or condo insurance. If you don’t have insurance at the time of the theft then you won’t be compensated for personal items stolen from your car.

If someone else leaves an item in your car and it’s stolen, they’d need to claim that item under their own home insurance – yours won’t cover it.

Will you provide me with a replacement vehicle while mine is being repaired for the damages caused by the accident?

Only if you’ve purchased our Rental Costs coverage (aka Rental and Travel Costs coverage in Quebec) – this includes Loss of Use coverage that covers the cost of a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired.

If you were not at-fault, or only partially at-fault for an accident, Loss of Use coverage is provided for you under your Collision – Not Your Fault coverage for the per cent you were not at-fault. This applies in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and P.E.I.

What information do I need to provide when reporting a claim?

We want you to get the help you need as quickly as possible. The more information you can give us up front, the better:

  • Your policy number – we’ll need this when you first call to make your claim
  • Photos
  • Police reports
  • Correspondence relating to the claimed event
  • Names and contacts of any service providers you used to assist you
  • Invoices for any out-of-pocket expenses
  • Receipts for lost or damaged items
  • Contact information, namely phone numbers where you can be reached
What if I have a car accident and there are injuries?

If you or someone else is injured in an accident, please let us know right away. We’ll assign a dedicated specialist who’ll review the details and determine access to the appropriate benefits and/or compensation.

If you’re in Quebec and you’re injured in a car accident, you must report it to the SAAQ.

What can I do to help prevent auto insurance fraud?

We’re always working to protect our customers from auto insurance personal injury fraud – and there are things that you can do to keep it from happening to you if you’ve been involved in an accident:

  • Contact your insurance company if a stranger tries to steer you to an unknown car repair facility, doctor, medical clinic or lawyer. Provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of these service providers.
  • See only medical and legal professionals you know and trust, or that are recommended by people you trust. Never take referrals offered by strangers.
  • Know what your medical benefits are – what’s covered and what isn’t.
  • Never sign blank insurance claims forms.
  • Review all forms completed to ensure the information is correct.
  • Keep detailed records of your medical treatments. Include all dates, locations, who provided the treatments, what diagnoses and services you received, and what medicine, supplies or equipment were provided to you.
  • Compare your records against the statements you receive from your insurance company to make sure the invoices are correct, and that they don’t include treatments you didn’t receive.
  • Make sure the treatment dates, doctor name(s), facility locations and medical services are the same as you remember. Ask your health provider to explain any problems or inconsistencies on your bills.
  • Read your insurance policy. Your policy provides specific details about your insurance coverages, your rights, and your responsibilities.
How long will it take to settle my claim?

You want your claim settled as quickly as possible – so do we! How long that takes depends on how severe or complex the loss is. Some claims can be wrapped up in a single phone call. Others might require us to bring in other claims experts.

You can speed things up by providing any necessary forms as quickly as possible, plus any supporting documents (photos, police reports, invoices, receipts…. you get the idea).

How is the amount of my claim determined?

A great question. To start, one of our claims professionals works closely with you, going through all the details of the loss and researching the cost to repair or replace any of your damaged property. We may even bring in an expert to help us assess the damage. Then they review your policy to determine how much of your claim can be paid based on your coverage. And if for some reason your loss isn’t covered, we make sure you understand why.

Your home policy. If your home has been damaged as a result of a loss that's covered in your policy, we may call on one of our certified partners to help us assess the damages.

Your auto policy. We'll have the damage to your vehicle assessed by a licensed appraiser or certified body shop to determine whether or not it can be repaired. If the vehicle is repairable, it will be repaired based on the approved estimate. If it's not repairable, we'll give you the Actual Cash Value.

How does a claim impact my auto insurance premium upon renewal?

Your premium is calculated by information that is unique to you and your vehicle. The same can be said for a claim – your premium might be impacted, but it depends on a lot of factors.

If you make a claim that falls under your comprehensive coverage, this typically won’t increase your premium. Though, too many comprehensive claims in a short period of time can lead to your insurer deciding to remove comprehensive coverage upon renewal.

If you have a collision, a premium increase depends on whether you were at-fault. If you were at-fault, you could see your premium increase. If you have accident forgiveness coverage, your premium won’t be impacted by your first at-fault accident.