An insured who relies on their broker for insurance coverage may not have an action against their broker despite the fact that they purchased the wrong insurance

Application for indemnity under Insurance Corporation of British Columiba ("ICBC") policy, for losses sustained in a logging accident, was denied. There was a material misrepresentation in the application for coverage and consequently the insured's coverage was forfeited pursuant s. 19(1)(b)( c) of the Insurance (Motor Vehcile) Act. The insured did not prove on a balance of probabilities that there was negligence on the part of the insurance broker in arranging coverage.

Triack Resources Ltd. v. Insurance Corporation of British Columiba, [2010] B.C.J. No. 764, April 29, 2010, British Columbia Supreme Court, J.C. Grauer J. 

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the duty to defend is separate from the duty to indemnify, both policies require a contribution to costs.

An appeal from a decision regarding which of the two insurers would be required to pay defence costs.

Goodman v. AIG Commercial Insurance Co. of Canada, June 2, 2010, Ontario Court of Appeal, E.A. Cronk, J.L. MacFarland and A. Karakatsanis JJ.A.

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Damages arising from freezing when a room is left unheated may be covered by an insurance contract.

Application by insured for judgment against insurer for breach of contract allowed. The insured’s claim for damage sustained when the pipes in the home burst was not excluded under the policy. Although the loss occurred during the “usual heating season”, the hot-tub room  in which the pipes were located was not an “unheated portion of the dwelling”.

Tapp v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co., [2010] S.J. No. 249, May 4, 2010, Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, E.J. Gunn J.

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An insurance company must follow up on evidence after the initial decision to deny a claim is made. If they do not punitive damages may be assessed against them.

Appeal by the insurer from a jury’s award of punitive damages dismissed. By not following up on all the evidence relevant to the claim, withholding critical information from the adjuster engaged to investigate the claim and allowing the adjuster to present the results of the investigation in a partisan, biased and un-objective manner, the insurer’s actions were exceptional. A reasonable jury could have concluded that an award of punitive damages was rationally required to punish the insurer’s conduct.

Kings Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ackermann, [2010] N.S.J. No. 255, May 4, 2010, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, J.W.S. Saunders, M.J. Hamilton and J.E. Fichaurd JJ.A.

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