Insurer who honours policy may still breach the duty of good faith.

On February 25, 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal substantially allowed an appeal from a lower court decision striking out numerous claims in a proposed class action relating to the sale and administration of four types of life insurance policies. In Kang v. Sun Life, 2013 ONCA 118, the Court of Appeal held that plaintiffs’ claims for breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing and for deceit and fraud were not mere reiterations of the plaintiffs’ claim for negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation and should be allowed to stand. Their claim for breach of contract was based on...

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Disability Insurance

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Employer ordered to pay $100,000 punitive damages.

On January 31, 2013, the British Columbia Court awarded an employee $100,000.00 in punitive damages as a result of the defendant employer’s conduct, which was found to be malicious and vindictive, in breach of its obligations of good faith and fair dealing in the manner in which the employee was terminated. The employer’s egregious conduct continued “unbroken” throughout the legal proceeding. The Court awarded punitive damages against the employer to punish, denounce, and deter future actions, which included: 1. The employer refused to pay the employee’s outstanding wages unless a release...

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When a policy lapses, a new agreement must be made.

On January 11, 2013, the  BC Court of Appeal decided in Khosah v. Canada Life Assurance Co. that where coverage under an original policy lapses in accordance with its own terms, the principles of contract formation, rather than contractual interpretation, may apply in determining whether a new policy has come into existence. The issue on appeal was whether the beneficiary’s deceased husband, the insured, obtained temporary insurance coverage from the insurer while the insurer processed the insured’s application for reinstatement of a term life insurance policy that had lapsed due...

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Critical Illness Insurance

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