Insurer’s claims handling to stand trial.

On August 31, 2016, an Ontario judge ordered that a law suit against an insurance company, based on alleged mishandling of the insured’s mother’s accident benefit claim, is allowed to proceed. The judge found that it was not “plain and obvious” that the law suit was certain to fail. In Watkins v. Western Assurance Co., 2016 ONSC 2574,  the insured’s mother was involved in a car accident when the insured was 15 years old. The insured was not present at the accident. The insured’s first law suit claimed damages arising out of the insurance company’s handling of his...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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.

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more