Insurer must produce internal manuals in bad faith claim.

On August 12, 2016, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench confirmed that in an action for bad faith denial of disability benefits the insurer must produce details of its internal claims handling procedures to the plaintiff. In Alexander v Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2016 ABQB 445, the plaintiff conducted an examination for discovery of a representative of Sun Life who explained that Sun Life makes an online databank of reference material available to its case managers to assist them in performing their job duties. She further explained that the reference material is broken down...

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Insurer may be a party to a tort claim.

On June 22, 2016, a judge of the BC Supreme Court held that a plaintiff’s insurer may be added as a party to a tort action where the tortfeasor’s insurance limits will likely be insufficient, and the plaintiff intends to seek compensation under its insurer’s “underinsured” liability coverage. The case, MacPherson v. White, 2016 BCSC 1151, arose out of a head-on collision between two motor vehicles; one driven by the plaintiff Joseph MacPherson, the other was driven by the defendant, Dallas White. The plaintiff suffered serious injuries in the accident, and the defendant’s...

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Manulife applied to have me disqualified from suing them, and lost.

On November 30, 2015, the BC Supreme Court dismissed arguments by the Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company, attempting to have me disqualified from acting as plaintiff ‘s counsel in a breach of contract claim against them.

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Insured injured 2 days before end of waiting period denied coverage.

On November 20, 2015, the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench held that there was no coverage for insured who suffered injury two days prior to expiration of waiting period for coverage under group disability policy. In Funk v. Blue Cross Life Insurance Co., the insured sued his insurer with respect to a group disability insurance policy. The insured had started a new position as a truck driver. One of the benefits offered to him was a group health plan including disability insurance. In order to qualify for coverage one of the provisions of the policy mandated a “Plan Waiting...

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Manulife guilty of fraudulent concealment.

A judge of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench found The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (“Manulife”) guilty of fraudulent concealment in Atchison v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. The trial judgment is found at: Atchison v Manulife, 2002 ABQB 1121. Ms. Atchison’s husband was covered by a group life insurance policy with Manulife. He applied and paid for “excess” life insurance, in addition to his group coverage. The excess policy was issued, with coverage effective one month prior to his death in a boating accident. Manulife paid the...

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Self-represented litigant to pay double costs to insurer.

On September 28, 2015, the BC Supreme Court was required to consider what type of costs award should be granted against a self-represented individual who was unsuccessful at trial. In Wright v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, 2015 BCSC 1899, the insurer made an offer to settle the case prior to trial. The plaintiff did not accept. Ultimately, the claim was dismissed and the plaintiff received no award. The Court held that the insurer’s offer to settle ought reasonably to have been accepted, as the plaintiff’s view of his entitlement and likelihood of recovery was unrealistic. The Court...

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