An Ontario driver said he felt lucky to be alive following a horrific car crash in September of last year that left him hospitalized and needing surgery.
But he was shocked when eight months later he got a bill for $37,860 to repair the utility pole he hit.
“It’s almost unbelievable to be honest with you because I’ve never seen a number on a piece of paper with my name on it and that much owing,” Sadiki Simpson of Whitby, Ont. told CTV News Toronto.
Simpson said while his insurance company, TD Insurance, paid him for the loss of his car he has been told he is responsible for the cost to repair the utility pole.
“I slid off the road and hit the utility pole and they want me to pay for the damages to the pole and the repair costs,” Simpson said.
Sadiki Simpson speaks to Pat Foran in this undated image.
Simpson has received about eight notices to pay the bill and contacted CTV News Toronto after he got a final notice saying if he didn’t pay the bill it would go to a collections agency on Dec. 14.
The notification of collection states “please forward payment in full to us before December 14, 2022. “
Simpson said he reviewed his insurance coverage and feels he clearly should be covered for the damage to the utility pole.
“I think that’s the main reason why you have insurance so like when this happens, Lord forbid, that you have insurance to take care of it,” said Simpson, who added “I have trouble sleeping at night. It’s very daunting right now to constantly get phone calls and letters like these that say I owe almost $40,000.”
CTV News Toronto reached out to the Insurance Bureau of Canada and a spokesperson said, “Typically, if someone hits a hydro pole or any property, the ‘Third Party Liability section’ of their car insurance would pay to repair the damage.”
“Third Party Liability coverage is part of the mandatory auto insurance coverage that all vehicle owners in Ontario/Canada must purchase in order to drive legally.”
CTV News Toronto then reached out to Elexicon Energy and TD Insurance.
A spokesperson for Elexicon said “TD Insurance has issued a cheque for the amount owing. As soon as the cheque is received, this matter will be closed.”
A spokesperson for TD Insurance said, “The hydro pole claim was paid on Nov. 25. We are in contact with our customer to fully cover their physiotherapy costs once we receive their documentation as per their insurance policy. Although this is an isolated claims experience, we are using it as a clear opportunity to review our processes as we support our customers in their moments of need.”
So the bill for $37,860 for the utility pole has been looked after and Simpson no longer had to pay it.
While Simpson said he is relieved, he feels he deserves an apology for the undue stress caused after his accident. Simpson also said the unpaid bill caused him to have credit problems over the past year and prevented him from buying another car.