A commentary by Alexandra Kallos, from our Insurance Law Practice Group.
The consequences of accusing an insured of having attempted to fraudulently obtain an insurance indemnity are serious. The Superior Court of Quebec issued an important reminder of the insurer’s burden of proof in the case of Eggsotique Café inc. c. Promutuel Lanaudière, société mutuelle d’assurances générales (2015 QCCS 178).
Ms. France Corbeil was the sole shareholder and director of l’Eggsotique Café inc (the insured). She had worked her entire life as a waitress. Following the death of her husband, she decided to open her own restaurant. By way of the insured company, she purchased a commercial building: the rent paid by the tenants would cover the monthly expenses of the building. She obtained a mortgage from the bank to finance the majority of this purchase. Within the first year of operation of the restaurant, she had already reimbursed a portion of the loan to the vendor and had borrowed more money from the bank to add improvements to the restaurant.