What is the Consumer Compensation Fund?
The Compensation Fund (“fund”) gives the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (“AMVIC”) the ability to extend a helping hand beyond the life of a licensed business. If a business closes its door and leaves consumers financially out of pocket, those consumers can submit a claim to AMVIC’s compensation fund.
The fund was launched to assist consumers who have suffered a loss from one of our Alberta licensee’s after that licensee is no longer in operation. The fund allows the consumer to make a claim to obtain compensation of up to $25,000.
What is covered by the Compensation Fund?
Compensation (up to a maximum of $25,000) may be available for eligible proven losses related to a transaction that occurred after June 30, 2011, with a licensee of AMVIC who is no longer in business.
Why is the compensation fund only available for absent businesses?
If a business is still in operation, and an offence has taken place, the business is expected to make things right for the consumer. AMVIC can investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against the business if a breach of Alberta’s consumer protection laws has occurred.
How can I find out if the business is no longer operating? Do I need to prove the business is closed in order to make a claim to the compensation fund?
Please provide AMVIC with as much information as possible. If you are aware of the business being closed we ask you to inform AMVIC, but investigators will determine if the business was a licensee at the time of the claim. If there is any doubt about the business, please submit a claim to the fund and await the review panel decision.
Considering a claim? What you need to know…
The Compensation Fund is only one venue to receive compensation. AMVIC encourages consumers to pursue every possibility for compensation and file a claim with our fund simultaneously.
Note that compensation from the fund may not cover your entire loss. As per AMVIC’s bylaws, there is a maximum claim per incident of $25,000. AMVIC also has limits on maximum payouts per failed business of $300,000. In the later, an eligible claimant may receive a pro rata portion of their eligible claim depending upon the number of consumer compensation claims submitted.
What types of transactions are covered by this fund?
Transactions covered by the fund include purchase, lease, gift, contest or other arrangement between a consumer and an AMVIC licensed automotive business.
Transactions covered include passenger, commercial, and recreational vehicle transactions for the following categories:
- Sales (new, used, agent or broker)
- Leasing (greater than 120 consecutive days)
- Repair (auto body, garage, specialty, recyclers and dismantlers)
What consumer transactions are not covered?
- Trailers or flatbeds
- Off-highway vehicles
- Windshield repairs
- Business to business (manufacturer to dealer)
How do I make a claim?
Please complete the Compensation Fund claim form.
*Make sure you include all supporting documentation with your application* (and retain copies of all documentation submitted to the Compensation Fund).
You must mail your original claim form and supporting documentation to:
Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council
ATTN: Compensation Fund Coordinator
9945-50 St. Suite 303
You may email a scanned copy of your claim form and supporting documentation to: CompFund@amvic.org however the original is still required via mail.
Upon receipt of a claim, AMVIC will review your documents, liaise with you about any additional information required, contact the dealer and determine if they are no longer operating and prepare your claim for consideration. You will be notified of the decision with respect to your claim.
Is there a limit on the claim amount?
Yes, a maximum claim per incident of $25,000, plus a maximum payout per failed business of $300,000. An eligible claimant may receive a pro rata portion of their eligible claim depending upon the number of consumer compensation claims submitted.
Is there a time limit to submit my claim to the fund?
Yes, eligible transactions occurred after June 30, 2011. A consumer claim must be submitted no later than:
- Two years from the date the consumer knew or ought to have known that they have a claim, or
- No later than 3 years after the date of the transaction, or
- One year from the date that charges have been laid in relation to the consumers complaint against a licensee, or
- One year from the date AMVIC took administrative action against a licensee in relation to a consumer claim.
When might I get notified that my compensation claim got approved?
Each claim is dependent upon its circumstances, therefore we cannot put a specific time frame, but claimants will receive periodic updates.
Can I pursue other venues-like small claims court action or filing a complaint with the better business bureau?
Yes, you can make a claim to the fund and simultaneously pursue other venues for compensation. AMVIC requests that any compensation you receive from other sources be fully disclosed as any monies received could reduce your ultimate compensation paid.
Can I appeal the decision if my claim gets rejected by the review panel?
Yes, both the consumer and licensee have the right to appeal any decision of the review panel within 30 days of receipt of the written decision. All appeal requests must be in writing and must outline the grounds for appealing.
After I have submitted my claim to AMVIC, now what?
You will receive an acknowledgement letter notifying you that we have received your claim. You can expect a phone call from an investigator with AMVIC who will confirm that the motor vehicle dealer/repair shop is no longer in business and they will discuss your loss with you.
When can I expect my compensation cheque?
AMVIC expects to provide periodic updates when claims take a long time to process. Unfortunately, there is no precise date or deadline. As such, we cannot provide any type of timeline for consumers who have suffered a loss.
More information about the Compensation Fund can be found in AMVIC’s compensation fund policy and the AMVIC Bylaws.