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 comprises 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.
You are required to submit your claim within 10 days of the date of the incident using the Claim Submission Web Form.
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 defense 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 contact the City of Toronto’s Claims Inquiry Line at 416-397-4212.