If you choose to submit a claim against the City, the Incident Report Form found below is to be completed.  Claims can be submitted by mail to City Hall or by e-mail to legal@sarnia.ca. Please note that even if you first contact Legal Services by phone, you will be asked to put your claim in writing.

The form/notice must be submitted to Legal Services as soon as possible following the occurrence.  The Municipal Act states that in certain situations a person is required to place the City on notice within 10 days from the date of an occurrence.

Claims requesting reimbursement for damage to property should be supported by photos, quotes, invoices or other relevant documentation outlining a breakdown of the repairs required.

Upon receipt, the Legal Services Division will commence an investigation to determine whether or not the City is legally liable.  For further details, please refer to the section below regarding City negligence.

For additional information on Claims, please contact Legal Services at 519-332-0330 extension 3398 or by email to legal@sarnia.ca.

What You Should Know Before Making a Claim

If you have auto or property insurance, these should be the first avenues pursued in the event of a loss. Your existing insurance coverage may in fact be more extensive than any recovery that could be made from the City. If your insurer believes that the City is responsible, they may seek to recover damages against the City on your behalf.

Any damage to your property can be upsetting and disruptive. However, it’s important to know that the City of Sarnia is not your insurer. Making a claim against the City does not guarantee payment. A claimant must be able to establish that their damages were caused by the City’s negligence.

Establishing Negligence Against the City

If you choose to submit a claim against the City, it is important to outline why you believe the City is responsible for your accident and provide proof of your damages.

As a claimant, you must be able to establish your damages were caused by the City’s negligence. The City will conduct an investigation to determine if it met its maintenance obligations.

The investigation of your claim must be completed before the City will be in a position to consider any compensation with respect to repairs/costs. It is your decision if you choose to proceed with repairing damaged property prior to the outcome of your claim. 

Like most Canadian municipalities, the City only compensates when it is legally liable for the damage sustained. If you are not able to establish that your damages were caused by the City’s negligence, then the City will not pay your claim.  If the City exercised a reasonable standard of care, your claim will be denied.