Widow's Application for Life Insurance Benefits Denied Because of Medical Misrepresentations

A widow’s application for life insurance benefits following the death of her husband, the insured, was denied because the insured had materially misrepresented his medical history in his application for life and disability insurance.

Linden Estate v. CUMIS Life Insurance Co., [2015] N.S.J. No. 83, March 3, 2015, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, J.W.S. Saunders, M.J. Hamilton and J.E. Fichaud JJ.A.

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Coverage under a life insurance policy was found to take effect as of the date the policy was delivered to the deceased insured, and not on the date the deceased insured completed administrative forms accompanying the delivered policy. The failure to advise the insurer of an impending medical test on those administrative forms did not constitute a material misrepresentation.

Craig v. Empire Life Insurance Co., [2014] O.J. No. 5577, November 13, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, J.R. McCarthy J.

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Insured found to have made material misrepresentations during his application for a life and disability policy.

Linden Estate v. CUMIS Life Insurance Co., [2014] N.S.J. No. 153, April 4, 2014, Nova Scotia Supreme Court, D. Boudreau J.

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Appeal by the defendant with respect to, in part, whether a clause in the deceased's will which stated that he disinherited the defendant from "any and all beneficiaries lists" was a "declaration" under the Insurance Act sufficient to revoke the defendant's designation as a beneficiary under the deceased's life insurance policy. According to the court, the test for a "declaration" under the Insurance Act is not a stringent one, but the revocation of an insurance designation must be clear. The court held that since the clause in the will did not identify or adequately describe the particular life insurance policy to which the revocation applied, it did not meet the requirements of a "declaration" under the Act. As a result, the defendant remained a beneficiary to the deceased's life insurance policy despite the deceased's wishes to the contrary indicated in his will.

Bassi v. Bassi, [2013] B.C.J. No. 2170, October 3, 2013, British Columbia Court of Appeal, M.V. Newbury, D.F. Tysoe and C.E. Hinkson JJ.A.

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In Alberta there is no right to jury trial where defendant raises equitable defence.

Coulter v. Co-operators Life Insurance Co., [2013] A.J. No. 919, September 6, 2013, Alberta Court of Appeal, J.E.L. Côté, B.K. O'Ferrall and B.L. Veldhuis JJ.A.

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Summary trial application by the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy for judgment against the insurer and broker. The insurer and broker also brought summary trial applications for a dismissal of the action. The Court granted the insurer's and broker's applications because the insured failed to disclose material information at the time of reinstatement. Accordingly, the insurer was justified in voiding the policy.

Branch v. Empire Life Insurance Co., [2013] B.C.J. NO. 1386, June 26, 2013, British Columbia Supreme Court, L.D. Russell J.

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An appeal from a decision dismissing an action for accidental death benefits. The appeal was allowed.

McLean v. Canadian Premier Life Insurance Co, (Inc. No. A0033215) [2013] B.C.J. No. 1150, June 4, 2013, British Columbia Court of Appeal, L.S.G. Finch C.J.B.C., C.A. Ryan, K.E. Neilson JJ.A.

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An insurer who has complied with the express terms of the contract may still breach its duty of good faith and fair dealing

The Court of Appeal substantially allowed the appeal from a motion decision striking out numerous claims in a proposed class action relating to the sale and administration of four types of life insurance policies. The 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 ambiguious terms in the contract and was likewise allowed to stand. A claim relating to settlement entered into by the defendant insurer was struck out on the basis that no relief was being claimed.

Kang v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [2013] O.J. No. 768, February 25, 2013, Ontario Court of Appeal, J.I. Laskin, M. Rosenberg and S.T. Goudge JJ.A.

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When a policy lapses in accordance with the terms of an insurance contract, the contract dictates the future relationship between the parties

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.

Khosah v. Canada Life Assurance Co., [2013] B.C.J. No. 99, January 11, 2013, British Columbia Court of Appeal, R.T.A. Low, D.M. Smith and A.W. MacKenzie JJ.A.

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An insurance policy may come into effect on the day that the premium is paid

A Mid-trial ruling about when a life insurance policy came into effect.

Pagliaroli v. Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc., [2012] O.J. No. 5801, December 3, 2012, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, S.E. Healey J.

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