Laval woman says insurance company treated her like suspect after her car was stolen

A Laval woman whose car was stolen said her insurance company has treated her more like a suspect than a victim.

JudyAnn Philip said her problems started in mid-December. As she was leaving the house to driver her daughter to school, she found her 12-year-old BMW was gone.

“I pinched myself like 'What's going on?'” she said.

She filed a police report and started a claim with Intact Insurance but a month later she had heard nothing back.

“They keep telling me 'Oh, the agent isn't available, she will call you back.' I never heard from them at any point,” said Philip.

Another three weeks passed before Intact called.

“She wanted to do a second follow-up as to what happened, which I did,” said Philip.

But as more time passed, she found herself waiting again. In March, Intact sent another representative to her home. That representative asked questions about Philip's finances and her husband, she said.

“I said 'In Canada, every 15 minutes someone's car is stolen so what's going on?' He told me 'I'm not implying you are involved or anything but my job is to ask you those questions.'”

While insurance companies are permitted to hold up claims if they suspect foul play or fraud, Laval police told CTV News the investigating officer didn't notice any suspicious behaviour from Philip and had no reason to suspect anything unusual.

“There are some instances where the police can inform the insurance company that there's a red flag but it doesn't seem to be the case with information I'm getting in this police report,” said Laval police spokesperson Evelyne Boudreau.

Two weeks ago, the company contacted Philip saying she has to meet with their lawyers to go over her claim.

“We take our responsibility to our customers very seriously,” the company said in a statement sent to CTV News. “We understand the stress a situation like this can cause and while this claim is still under investigation, we are working with Ms. Philip on possible next steps.”

While the claim is being investigated, the company acknowledged Philip must still pay the $186-per-month premium to insure the stolen car.

“I feel as though they are taking advantage of me and they are trying to look for ways not to pay me by having their lawyer attack me,” said Philip.

After being contacted by CTV News for this story, Intact contacted Philip, saying they would settle the claim and pay her $10,000 for the car. Philip said she would be looking for a new insurance company for her next vehicle.  

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