When making a claim against the City for pothole damages it’s important to note that the City will not be responsible for your property damage if it has met the Provincial “Minimum Maintenance Standards for Highways in the City of Toronto” (MMS). Ontario Regulation 612/06: Minimum Maintenance Standards for Highways in the City of Toronto.
The MMS comprise a series of standards for various aspects of road maintenance (patrolling, salting, clearing snow and pothole repair) which vary, depending on the speed limit and traffic volume on a particular roadway in accordance with these standards:
- Potholes in higher speed roads and high-volume roads are repaired more quickly than ones on side streets
- On the busiest roads, the City repairs potholes in four days from the date they are reported
- On side streets, the City has 30 days to repair potholes
The City identifies potholes through regular patrols and reports made by the public to 311. If you see a pothole on a city street, call 311 or report it online.
Please note by reporting a pothole online to 311 you are not submitting a claim to the City of Toronto – see below on how to submit a claim.
According to the City of Toronto Act you are required to submit a claim letter or email to the City Clerk for property damage or injury. You are required to submit your claim within 10 days of the date of the incident.
The claim letter should include the following:
- Your name, home address, phone number and email address
- Date, time and location of accident which caused the property damage or injury
- Exact municipal address or a representative photo should be submitted with the claim letter
- Our system can only accept emails sized 10MB or less
- It is not necessary to submit all photos. Once an adjuster is assigned they will instruct you on what additional photos are necessary, if any
- Describe how the accident happened and names, phone numbers of any witnesses
- Detailed description of your property damage or injury
- Retain all documentation that you believe support your claim such as: photos, receipts and estimates
- Outline why you believe the City is responsible for the accident
- Did you report this accident to the City, if so, please provide name(s) of City staff involved
- If a City Contractor was involved please provide contractor’s name
- Failure to provide exact municipal address will delay the processing of your claim
- Scanned documents are acceptable – there is limit of 10 MB for each email transmission
Where to submit your claim letter
Your claim letter can be received by mail, fax or email:
City Clerk’s Office- Claims
100 Queen St. W.,
9th Floor, West Tower
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2
The City Clerk’s Office forwards all claims to the City of Toronto’s insurance adjusters, ClaimsPro, for evaluation.
If you submitted by email:
- Claim letters submitted by email will be acknowledged by the City Clerk’s Office within two business days upon receipt of your email.
- ClaimsPro will send an initial acknowledgement email within two business day upon receipt of your email from the City Clerk’s Office.
- A ClaimsPro Adjuster will be assigned to investigate your claim and will also send you an acknowledgement email within two business days of being assigned the claim.
If you submitted by mail or fax:
- Claim letters submitted by mail or fax should receive an acknowledgement letter from the City Clerk’s Office within ten business days upon receipt of your letter.
- ClaimsPro will send an acknowledgement letter within two business days upon receipt of your letter from the City Clerk’s Office.
- A ClaimsPro Adjuster will be assigned to investigate your claim and will also send you an acknowledgement letter within two business days of being assigned the claim.
- Generally, you should receive an acknowledgment letter within 10 business days, however delays may occur due to mail and courier service.
The ClaimsPro Adjuster is your contact person for the status of your claim. If you do not receive an acknowledgement letter please contact ClaimsPro at 416-252-4431.
There will be an investigation by the City’s insurance adjusters to determine if the City is responsible for your loss.
The investigation will consist of gathering information from you and the City’s Transportation division. Records from the division will be reviewed to determine if regular inspection and repair standards were upheld in accordance with the Minimum Maintenance Standards for Highways in the City of Toronto (MMS). Division records include reports from the City’s Toronto Maintenance Management System (TMMS), which log complaints as well as the nature of the City’s response, including work orders.Patrol logs/diaries are also relied upon to document patrol and pothole repair dates. Also, information about contractors or third parties that may have been carrying out work at or near the site of the incident.
Typically, property damage claims are completed within 90 days.
In cases of extreme storm events (i.e. heavy rain, snowstorms or windstorms) the City does receive a higher volume of claims which generally extends the time it takes to process insurance claims. In these cases, the City’s investigation may take longer than 90 days. The adjuster will advise you if your claim falls in the “storm event” category.
Repairs to your vehicle can be expedited by making a claim through your automobile insurance company.
If divisional records show that MMS service levels were met, the City has a defence and your claim will be denied. The City’s adjuster will outline the results of their investigation in a letter and provide you with the division’s report that justifies the City’s denial.
It’s important to know that the majority of property damage claims made against the City of Toronto are denied as City divisions regularly meet or exceed standard service levels.
If you still wish to pursue your claim after being denied compensation, your next option is to proceed with legal action
For more information regarding the claims process, please see Frequently Asked Questions or contact the City of Toronto’s Claims Inquiry Line at 416-397-4212.
The City of Toronto frequently enters into contracts with independent companies (contractors) who perform work on the City’s behalf. The City’s agreements with the contractors contain a strict requirement that they respond directly to claims for any damage or injury they caused to the public.
Upon receipt of information from the City division that a contractor had control over the accident location at the time of your loss, the City’s adjuster will forward your claim to the contractor for their investigation and liability determination. You will be advised in writing when your claim has been forwarded to the contractor. The contractor should acknowledge receipt of your claim and identify a contact person who will be investigating your claim. If you do not receive the contractor’s acknowledgement letter within 10 business days, please contact the City’s adjuster to assist you with determining the contractor’s contact person.
The contractor will conduct an investigation and make a liability decision regarding your claim. If the contractor determines they were responsible for your loss, they will resolve your claim with you directly.
If the contractor determines their work met reasonable and appropriate construction standards, they may deny your claim. In this case, their communication to you will provide the results of their investigation and clearly explain their decision. Should you disagree with the contractor’s decision, please contact the City’s adjuster to advise them of the contractor’s position.
The City adjuster can assist you with the following:
- clarify the claims process
- clarify the facts the led the City to its position on liability
- advise whether this position has changed given any of the contractor’s findings
If the contractor maintains that they are not liable, the City determines that it has not been negligent, and you still wish to pursue your claim, the adjuster will provide you with the basis upon which the City has denied liability.
If you still wish to pursue you claim, you have the option of pursuing the contractor and/or the City by proceeding legal action.
Before a claim is filed and investigated, ClaimsPro cannot authorize payment for a rental vehicle. If you need to rent a vehicle, it is your own decision.
Please note that the claims adjuster must complete an investigation to determine if the City is responsible for your property damage before it can approve any costs related to a rental vehicle. You may consider contacting your own automobile insurance company for assistance in the meantime.
If you choose to rent a vehicle before hearing from your insurance company, you may be responsible for all or part of that expense.