Risk Management and Claims

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Risk Management Program

The City of Novato’s Risk Management Program operates within the Administrative Services Department. The goal of the program is to establish and maintain internal fiscal and policy controls to avert risk to the organization and employees, including ensuring City assets are protected from loss, theft, and misuse, and protecting employees from mistreatment. The Risk Management Program is responsible for reviewing and determining the appropriate action for any claims submitted against the City. In the event you believe the City has caused damage to your personal property or bodily harm, you have the right to file a claim against the City for damages.

 

Claims Processing

To file a claim for injury, property damage or loss against the City of Novato, please complete a Claim Form as required under California Government Code sections 905 and 915:

City of Novato Claim Form  downloadable PDF, which includes instructions.

 

Information About Filing a Claim

Please be sure to closely follow the instructions for filing a claim. Instructions are included with the downloadable forms referred to above. Failure to closely follow the instructions will delay the processing of your claim. Late claims will be returned. For general information on how a claim is submitted and processed, please continue reading. The original completed Claim Form must be filed in person or by mail to the City of Novato City Clerk’s office:

Claims for death or injury to persons or damage to personal property must be filed within six (6) months after the accident giving rise to the claim. All other claims (other than certain tax claims) must be filed within one year. Please allow 45 days for our Third-Party Administrator (Acclamation Insurance Management Services) to process and investigate your claim. A description of the City’s claims procedures is as follows: 

  1. A letter of acknowledgement with your claim number will be sent to you notifying you that your claim has been received. Please use this claim number when inquiring about your claim.
  2. An investigation will be conducted. It is our practice, when possible, to complete our investigation within 45 days of receiving your claim. Again, be sure to follow the instructions for filing a claim on the Claim Form and include all of the requested information, including the names and addresses of all witnesses. Attach a list of additional names if necessary.
  3. You are required to provide written justification of the amount of your claim:
    1. Property damage claims require two estimates and photographs of the damage.
    2. Personal injury claims require complete unaltered copies of all bills from treating physician(s) or other expenses that may have been incurred as a result of an injury. If you contend that you have incurred a wage loss, please provide appropriate supporting documentation with your claim.

Any request for information by Acclamation Insurance Management Services (AIMS) is not a commitment to pay your claim or an admission of liability. All of the information you submit will be evaluated together with the results of our investigation. The evaluation of your claim may result in several actions, the most common being:

  1. A settlement offer, if all of the information has been submitted; or
  2. A formal denial. If a formal denial letter is sent to you, this means that our evaluation has determined that the City is not a fault and will not pay any money in response to your claim. You are free to write or speak to the AIMS representative handling your claim. If your claim is denied and you wish to file a lawsuit against the City, you must file your lawsuit within six months from the date your denial letter is placed in the mail; or
  3. Postponement of any action until medical treatment has been completed and bills and/or appropriate wage loss forms and payroll records are submitted. If you do not receive a formal denial of your claim, you have two years from the date of your accident to resolve your claim or file a lawsuit.

You may seek the advice of an attorney at any time during the investigation and evaluation of your claim. Your cooperation in promptly returning the completed Claim Form to the City Clerk’s office will begin the processing of your claim.