Bad faith claim leads to broad disclosure obligations.

Shirley Wade suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 2005. In 2008, her insurer, the  Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, stopped paying her disability benefits. Wade started  a lawsuit for breach of contract and bad faith against Wawanesa. During the discovery of Wawanesa’s representative on the bad faith claim, counsel for Wawanesa refused four requests for information, as follows: 1. During the 5 years before Wawanesa terminated Wade’s benefits, provide the number of policy holders who received income replacement benefits like Wade, provide the average length of time...

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$110,000 for fractured fibs, knee injury and chronic pain.

In Grewal v. Naumann, 2015 BCSC 1147, the plaintiff was involved in a 2007 T Bone collision. The collision was significant and resulted in 3 broken ribs, a knee injury requiring surgical intervention and a variety of soft tissue injuries resulting in some chronic symptoms. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $110,000 Mr. Justice Masuhara provided the following reasons: [120] My findings of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff from the Accident are: (a) three fractured ribs two of which were comminuted, and internal injuries which physically healed by January 2008; (b) chondromalacia...

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No duty to investigate information from insured.

On June 30, 2015, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court held that an insurer has no duty to investigate the information provided by the insured to unearth misrepresentations by the insured.  A broker was held liable for failing to make inquiries into whether an insured’s representative who completed the insurance applications had the necessary training or experience to do so and if not to discuss the benefits of property inspections with him. The insured was apportioned 50% liability for failing to ensure that its representatives handling the placement of insurance had sufficient knowledge...

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ICBC may use private investigators.

If your ICBC claim is viewed as a “large exposure” for ICBC or if the claim is getting close to going to trial, ICBC will often times hire an independent investigator to review your life history and background. This is, of course, a tremendous invasion of your privacy but ICBC has the right to proceed with this investigation. Often, the investigators will do a neighbourhood canvass. This involves knocking on your neighbours’ doors hoping to find out some piece of helpful information about you (eg. that you are doing some home renovations, yard work or sporting activities). ICBC often tries...

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Appeal Court reduces punitive damages for bad faith.

On June 19, 2015, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal reduced awards of extra-contractual damages made on March 21, 2013. The trial decision of a Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench assessed punitive damages totalling $5,000,000 against two insurers in a recent trial decision, Branco v. American Home Assurance et. al., 2013 SKQB 98. In rendering a decision in which he found the insurers’ treatment of the insured to be “calculated and abhorrent”, Justice Acton sent a message to all insurers doing business in Canada: “It is hoped that this award will gain the attention of the...

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