If you choose to make a claim against the City, the online Incident Report Form needs to be completed.  All claims are required to be submitted in writing.

The form/notice must be submitted to Legal Services as soon as possible following the occurrence.  The Municipal Act, 2001 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 and any other relevant documentation outlining a breakdown of the repairs required.

Upon receipt, Legal Services 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.

Typically, property damage claim investigations are completed within 60 days. In cases of extreme weather events such as heavy rain, snowstorms or windstorms the City does receive a higher volume of claims which generally extends the time it takes to process claims. In these cases, the City’s investigation may take longer than 60 days. Repairs to your property may be expedited by making a claim through your insurance company.

For additional information on the Claims process, 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 available 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 duty of care.

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 Ontario 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.