AMVIC maintains a Compensation Fund for consumers who have suffered an eligible financial loss as the result of a transaction with an AMVIC-licensed business that is out of business or is otherwise unable to compensate the consumer. Consumers can submit a claim to AMVIC’s Compensation Fund of up to $25,000 per transaction.
If a business is still in operation, and an offence has taken place, the business is expected to take reasonable steps to resolve consumer issues. AMVIC can investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against the business if a breach of Alberta’s consumer protection laws has occurred. If a business is currently operating you can file a consumer complaint.
The Compensation Fund is only one avenue to receive compensation when an AMVIC-licensed business is no longer in operation. AMVIC encourages consumers to pursue every possibility for compensation, including efforts to resolve matters on their own with the business or filing their own civil claim, which consumers can do at the same time as filing a claim with the Compensation Fund.
Compensation (up to a maximum of $25,000) may be available for eligible financial losses related to a transaction that occurred on or after July 1, 2011, with an AMVIC-licensed business that is out of business. Compensation from the fund may not cover your entire loss. There is a maximum payout limit per failed business of $300,000. If the amount of eligible claims received against one business is greater than $300,000, eligible claimants will receive a pro rata portion of their eligible claim.
A transaction is defined as the purchase, lease, gift, contest or other arrangement between a consumer and an AMVIC-licensed automotive business, as per AMVIC Bylaw 2 – Compensation Fund. Curbers are illegal sellers operating without the required AMVIC licence.
Typically, curbers sell stolen, damaged, or odometer-tampered vehicles. Transactions between consumers and curbers are not eligible for compensation from the Compensation Fund.
A consumer must have entered into a transaction with an automotive business on or after July 1, 2011. A claim must be submitted no later than:
- two years from the date the consumer knew or ought to have known that they had a claim in relation to the transaction but not later than three years from the date of the transaction, or
- one year from the date that AMVIC took administrative action against the automotive business or salesperson in relation to the consumer’s claim, or
- one year from the date that charges have been laid in relation to the consumer’s claim against the:
i. automotive business
ii. salesperson, employee, representative or agent of the automotive business.
Recovery from other sources
You can make a claim to the Compensation Fund and also pursue other avenues for compensation. Bylaw 2 requires claimants to advise AMVIC if you recover money from any other source as claimants are not eligible for compensation from the fund for those amounts.
How to make a claim
Please contact the Compensation Fund coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-800-1914 to help you file a claim. Once a claim is received, AMVIC will review your documents and request any additional information required. Your claim will be considered and you will be notified of the decision, including reasoning. Each claim is dependent upon its circumstances and claimants will receive periodic updates. Once you are notified of the decision, there is a 30 day appeal period for all claimants. After the 30 day appeal period has passed and if no appeal has been received, eligible claims will be paid by cheque from AMVIC.
More information about the Compensation Fund can be found in AMVIC Bylaw 2 and AMVIC’s Compensation Fund Policy.