The Plaintiff (“Stevens”), in an action seeking entitlement to long-term disability benefits, brought an application for production of documents and information relating to his allegations of bad faith against the disability insurer (“Sun Life”). The court held that the contract claim relating to benefits should be severed from the bad faith claim, with the contract claim to be determined first.

06. April 2004 0
Stevens v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [2004] B.C.J. No. 661, British Columbia Supreme Court

This was an appeal by the Defendant insurer SGI. At trial, the insurer was held to be liable to insure the loss by fire of the insured’s logging equipment. At issue was the communication between the insurer, the third party agent, and the insured Plaintiff. Between the time of the insured’s first policy issued in 1987 and the loss in May 1996, there were a number of oral revisions, yearly renewals, and additions to the equipment insured under the policy. One of the revisions was a warrantee requiring biannual inspections of fire prevention equipment. The insured never conducted those inspections and claimed he was not informed about the warrantee by the agent. The trial judge found that there was an oral contract of insurance in place at the time of the loss, accepted that the insured was not informed of the new warrantee and held that as the warrantee was unilaterally imposed by the insurer it was unenforceable. On Appeal, the court upheld the result at trial although on a different basis, finding that there was a new contract of insurance in place with each yearly renewal, and at the time of the loss, in May, the Plaintiff was in compliance with the warrantee which required only bi-annual inspections. A third party claim against the agent was dismissed.

06. April 2004 0
L.L.A. Logging Ltd. v. Saskatchewan Government Insurance, [2004] S.J. No. 228, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

The Petitioner Insurer (“CNS”) was successful in obtaining a declaration that the Respondents (the “Demers”) were not entitled to indemnity or defence under a homeowners policy issued by CNS with respect to civil actions brought against the Demers by a neighbour who had been shot by Mr. Demers. The court held that the Demers failed to commence an action for coverage within the limitation period provided by section 22(1) of the Insurance Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 226.

31. March 2004 0
Canadian Northern Shield v. Demers, [2004] B.C.J. No. 650 British Columbia Supreme Court

The Plaintiff’s claim for long-term disability benefits under a group policy of insurance issued by the Defendant was dismissed. The court held that a pre-existing condition exclusion clause was operative where symptoms of a disorder were exhibited during the applicable waiting period even though the ultimate diagnosis of the condition was delayed until after the expiry of the waiting period.

29. March 2004 0
Van Maele v. Alberta Blue Cross Benefits Corp., [2004] A.J. No. 367, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench

Without prejudice letters from an adjuster to a third party who has threatened, but not commenced an action against an insured, can confirm a cause of action and extend the limitation period, if a reasonable person objectively viewing the letters would conclude that the insurer was going to settle the threatened personal injury claim, or at the very least, that the only issue in dispute would be the quantum of the claim

22. March 2004 0
Korecki v. Duong, [2004] B.C.J. No. 551, British Columbia Supreme Court