Filing a Claim Against the City

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​​​ Types of Claims     What Happens After a Claim is Filed?     What is the Appeals Process?     Required Legal Notices     Online Claim Forms

The City of Ann Arbor Insurance Board administers the self-insurance fund of the city. For most types of claims, the city is self-insured. This board and its adjusters are the only persons empowered to take action on such claims. If the city has obtained insurance for the type of damage for which the claim is filed, the insurance company handles the adjustment and payment, if any, for the claim.

Any statements or promises made to you concerning your claim by any other city employee or agency are unauthorized and are not binding on the insurance board.


A claim can be considered only after it is filed in writing at the office of the city clerk or online at  Click here for our onlin​e claim form​.

Claimants are strongly encouraged to use the online claim form.

If you choose not to use the online claim form, you can print a copy of the claim form at

Mailed forms must be sent to:​

Office of City Clerk
Larcom City Hall
301 E. Huron St.
P.O. Box 8647
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8647


FAX: 734.994-2777 – Attn: Risk Specialist

Types of Claims

The city separates claims into two types:

1. Standard – Any claim not related to sewer overflow or backup.

2. Sewer – Any claim related to sewer overflow or backup.

In order for the insurance board to consider your claim, you must provide the following information within forty-five (45) days of the date the damage was discovered for a sewer claim, and within ninety (90) days of the incident for a standard claim:

  • A statement that you intend to hold the city liable for the injury or damage, or claim.
  • The time, date and exact location of the reported incident.
  • The manner in which the injury, damage, or claim occurred.
  • The name and address of any witnesses.
  • Police accident report or number, if any.
  • The amount of damages claimed. In all cases, damages should be itemized and totaled.

You must file your claim within the stated time even if you do not have all the required information.

For property damage cases, this would include estimates for repair (at least two estimates for automobile damage), evidence of the fair market value of the property, and evidence of the condition of the property immediately prior to the accident. 

For proof of damages, attach receipts, photos, or written estimates. For personal injury cases, necessary information includes records of the injury and medical reports.

Provide name, policy number and phone number of your insurance company. Be sure your name, address, email address and telephone numbers are on your claim.

By filing a claim, you agree to allow the City or its agent to inspect your property or investigate the physical injury.  Unreasonable refusal of such inspection or investigation will be grounds for denial of your claim.

The insurance board cannot consider your claim until all necessary information has been received.  Because of the procedure that must be followed, some time must elapse between the filing and final disposition of your claim. Please be assured that as soon as you provide the Board with the necessary information, your claim will be promptly considered and you will receive a response on your claim.

What Happens After a Claim is Filed?

Once a claim is received, the city will perform an investigation. A third-party contractor for the city may perform this investigation. Until a final decision is made on a claim, any statement or promise made concerning your claim by any city employee or its agent is unauthorized and not binding on the city’s final approval or denial.

If the city’s investigation determines a different party may be responsible, the city will notify the claimant so that the claimant may take appropriate steps.  In the case of a sewer claim, if the city’s investigation determines that a different or additional governmental agency may be responsible, the city will notify the other governmental agency.

As a claimant, you should be aware that the city has three levels of approval, depending on the value of your claim.

1.    Claims of $500 or less are reviewed and may be approved or denied by the City’s Chief Financial Officer.

2.    Claims of $10,000 or less are reviewed and may be approved or denied by the City’s Insurance Board.

3.    Claims of more than $10​,000 are reviewed and may be approved or denied by the City's Insurance Board.  If a claim is approved by the Insurance Board for an expenditure over $10,000, the Insurance Board makes a recommendation of approval of the expenditure to City Council but City Council must approve or deny the expenditure.

No monies will be paid until a final approval has been made.

The insurance board typically meets on the fourth Thursday each month. At its meetings, the board will consider claims and make decisions regarding the city’s liability for claims.  These decisions are communicated to claimants as soon as practicable. Extenuating circumstances or the need for Council approval of the decision may delay this communication.

If your claim is approved, in part or in whole, you will be compensated as approved by the B​oard (and Council if the expenditure is over $10,000). Upon completion of a release of liability, a check will be delivered by mail.

What is the Appeal Process?

If your claim is denied and you believe the Board has erred in its decision, you may appeal to the Board.  If you wish to appeal, you may call (734) 794-6570 to schedule your appeal on the Board's agenda.

The appeal process is a presentation by the claimant contesting the board’s decision.  It is not a legal proceeding, question and answer session, fact finding or examination.  A claimant may file an appeal up to 30 days after the claimant is notified in writing of the board's determination on their claim.  A claimant's appeal must be heard by the Board within 90 days of the claimant's notice of appeal.​​

At the board meeting when your appeal is heard, you will be given an opportunity to make a presentation to the board. Appeals are limited to 15 minutes in duration. Appeals are typically made solely by the claimant(s), but you may make your appeal with assistance from others as long as all speakers can be heard in the allotted time. You should focus on why you believe the board erred in its decision or present new information that was not submitted with the claim. Written materials are welcome in advance of the board meeting.

If you believe 15 minutes is insufficient to present your appeal, you may utilize the scheduled 15 minutes to explain why the time is inadequate. The Board will consider the request, and if approved additional time will be scheduled for a subsequent meeting.

If you have any special requests regarding your appeal, please call 734.794.6570. The board’s deliberation following the appeal presentation will be done in a meeting without members of the public, the claimants or others. The claimant will receive a written decision on the appeal after the appropriate level of approval is obtained.

The above process represents the extent of the city’s administrative claims and appeal process.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call 734.794.6570.

The City is Required to Provide the Following Legal Notices


Claimant may have the right to personal protection insurance benefits, property insurance benefits, and/or residual liability insurance benefits if in compliance with the regulations and restrictions contained in the Michigan No-Fault Insurance Law, Public Act 294 of 1972.  Please contact your insurance company to determine if you are eligible to receive these benefits. If your policy is not covered under Michigan No-Fault, please contact the City of Ann Arbor’s risk management at 734.794.6570.

The City of Ann Arbor will pay claims in a timely manner as prescribed by the Michigan No-Fault Insurance Law.

If there are any questions concerning the City of Ann Arbor’s failure to fulfill its responsibilities under the Michigan No-Fault Law, please contact:

Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
P.O. Box 30220
Lansing, MI  48909-77
Telephone:  877.999.6442


Under Public Act 222 of 2001 (MCL 691.1416 - 691.1419), a claimant may seek compensation for property damage or physical injury from a governmental agency if the claimant shows that all of the following existed at the time of the event:

  • The governmental agency was the "appropriate governmental agency,"
  • The sewage disposal system had a defect,
  • The governmental agency knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, about the defect,
  • The governmental agency, having the legal authority to do so, failed to take reasonable steps in a reasonable amount of time to repair, correct, or remedy the defect, and
  • The defect was a substantial proximate cause of the event in the property damage or physical injury.

In addition to the above requirements to seek damages, to obtain compensation for property damage or physical injury, a claimant has to show both of the following:

  • Personal property – reasonable proof of ownership and the value of the damaged personal property (reasonable proof could include testimony or records documenting ownership, purchase price or value of the property or photographic or similar evidence showing the value of the property) and
  • The claimant followed the proper notification protocol to seek damages from the governmental agency.

 A claimant may not file a civil action against the city until at least 45 days have passed after the date the claimant’s sewer claim was filed with the city.

Online Claim Forms

​Financial and Administrative Services