Tag Archives: insurance law

Insurers Take Note: Special Costs Awarded for Coverage Denial Despite No Reprehensible Conduct

by Raman Johal

For the first time in BC, a Court has decided that an insured is entitled to special costs, rather than the lower tariff costs, solely because they were successful in a coverage action against their insurer.

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Insurers with a “Direct Interest” may Join the Party

By Daniel Paperny

1. Introduction

The BC Supreme Court’s recent decision in MacPherson v White, 2016 BCSC 1151 establishes that an insurer can successfully apply to be added as a party to a lawsuit which it has a direct interest in, even if the insurer has no contractual right or legislative standing to be added.

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Weeding Out When A Homeowner Insured May Be Entitled to Coverage

By Raman Johal

The recent case of Bahniwal v. The Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia, 2016 BCSC 422 demonstrates that a homeowner can have insurance coverage for property that houses a marijuana grow operation as long as they are not aware of the operation. We have written about Coverage for Marijuana Grow Operations before but the focus of this article concerns knowledge on the part of the insured homeowner and its impact on coverage.

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Exclusion clauses and article 2402 C.C.Q.: What constitutes “an indictable offence”?

A commentary by Gabrielle Ferland, from our Insurance Law Practice Group.

July 13, 2016 — What is an “indictable offence” pursuant to article 2402 C.C.Q.? Justice Marie St-Pierre, in the recent Quebec Court of Appeal decision Desjardins Sécurité Financière, compagnie d’assurance-vie c. Émond, answers this question.

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Punitive Damage Award of $350,000 Made Against ICBC for Malicious Prosecution

By Andrew Dixon

In a recent BCSC decision ICBC was found guilty of malicious prosecution after ICBC wrongfully accused a new immigrant of making fraudulent insurance claims. The Court ordered an extraordinary punitive damage award of $350,000 against ICBC. Although not a typical insurance case, Arsenovski v. Bodin, 2016 BCSC 359 highlights ICBC’s responsibility to act in good faith during its investigation process as a public insurer, and reminds private insurers that there are consequences for failing to undertake investigations reasonably.

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Nothing but the kitchen sink: tort immunity and covenants to insure

In its recent decision in William Osler Health Centre v. Compass Construction et al., 2015 ONSC 3959, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice considered the scope of tort immunity arising from a covenant to insure in a CCDC 2 Contract (the “Contract”). Generally, tort immunity acts to prevent a party who covenants to insure another party from suing the other party for the losses which are insured. In this case, the Court considered whether the covenant to insure and related tort immunity extended only to the portion of the subject property that was under renovation or whether it extended to other parts of the subject property that were damaged in the course of construction. 

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The Pollution Exclusion – Focus On Causation

By Samantha Ip, with assistance by Daniel Paperny

In its recent ruling in Precision Plating Ltd v Axa Pacific Insurance Co. (“Precision Plating“), the BC Court of Appeal considered when a pollution exclusion in a Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policy would operate to release an insurer from its duty to defend its insured in a third party lawsuit. In the past, such cases typically addressed whether the loss was “sudden and accidental” or whether the released substance fell within the definition of “pollutant”. Precision Plating was focused instead on the concept of causation in the context of exclusion clauses. 

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ILN Today Post

Papier mache caterpillar provides definitive guidance on what constitutes hazardous manual handling

Breach of statutory duty, more so a breach of the Occupational Health & Safety Regulations, is an extremely common particular of negligence in personal injury proceedings.  The Court of Appeal’s direction in this proceeding goes a long way to remove uncertainty between what is manual handling and further, what is meant by hazardous manual handling.  In line with the majority, an element of force is required, or alternatively the load be unstable or unbalanced, difficult to grasp or hold.  What is clear is that a load may meet the definition of hazardous manual handling despite being particularly light – as in this case a papier mache caterpillar. More…

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Negligent Acts During Policy Period But Resultant Damage After: When Did the “Accident” Occur?

By Glen Boswall

In reasons for judgment released in May 2015 in Canadian Northern Shield Insurance Company v. Intact Insurance Company, the BC Supreme Court decided whether an insurer had a duty to defend where the insureds committed negligent acts within the policy period but the claimant’s resulting damage happened after. The particular question was whether there had been an “accident” within the policy period.

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Alberta Court of Appeal Explores Boundary Between Faulty Workmanship and Resulting Damage

By Carmen Tham and R. Glen Boswall

In the recent case of Ledcor Construction Limited v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Company, the Alberta Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether an “All Risks” property insurance policy covered damage caused by one trade contractor improperly cleaning windows provided by another trade.  In particular, the issue was whether the window damage was excluded as “poor workmanship” or covered as “resulting damage.”

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