Delay not always a bar to a disability claim.

On September 21, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision to grant relief from forfeiture in Dube v. RBC Life Insurance Company, 2015 ONCA 641. Gregory Dube worked for a Community Housing Corporation in Windsor, Ontario. As a full-time employee, Dube was insured by RBC Life Insurance Co. against the risk of suffering a long-term disability. The RBC policy required claimants to submit proof of their claim to RBC within 90 days from the start of their disability, but granted an extra year to submit proof of the claim if they could not do so within 90 days. On May...

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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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Insuring both tortfeasor and victim creates conflict.

On April 24, 2015, a 3-judge panel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Divisional Court, held that where an insurer insures both the tortfeasor for liability coverage and the victim for accident benefits, the insurer should set up a firewall so that information gathered by it regarding the accident benefits claim is not available in the tort action. In Dervisholli v. Cervenak the plaintiff insured was involved in a motor vehicle collision. The insurer insured both the plaintiff’s vehicle and the defendant’s vehicle under separate automobile policies. The plaintiff brought...

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Manulife tried to use maternity leave to reduce bonus, and lost.

On April 22, 2015, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered Manulife  to pay damages of over $140,000 to a recruiter of financial advisors in a wrongful dismissal suit. The decision is noteworthy in that the court refused to allow Manulife to use its employee’s maternity leave as a reason to reduce her bonus payment. In Sowden v. Manulife Canada Ltd., the court ruled that Manulife owes damages to former employee Janice Sowden after she was dismissed in a “corporate restructuring”. In an earlier decision the court ruled, after a summary trial, that Sowden was entitled to...

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Life insurance claim denied for misrepresentations.

On March 3, 2015, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal upheld the denial of a widow’s application for life insurance benefits following the death of her husband, the insured, because the insured had materially misrepresented his medical history in his application for life and disability insurance. In Linden Estate v. CUMIS Life Insurance Co., an insured applied for life and disability insurance. The application included a supplementary health questionnaire to be completed over the telephone. The questionnaire included questions about the insured’s medical history. The insured...

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Motor vehicle lessor liability cap confirmed.

On November 6, 2014, the BC Court of Appeal released an important judgment concerning the liability limit of motor vehicle lessors for accidents involving their lessees or drivers operating leased vehicles with the lessee’s permission. Background In British Columbia, the Motor Vehicle Act makes owners, lessees, and lessors of vehicles vicariously liable for accidents committed by drivers of leased vehicles. While a permitted driver or a lessee is liable for the full extant for any damages flowing from the accident, the Motor Vehicle Act limits the liability of lessors. The limit of...

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