Case Comment: Condo. Corp No. 0427067 v. Aviva Canada Inc., 2019 ABQB 678

Introduction

A new decision from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench provides a caution to insureds to double check the accuracy of a denial of coverage. Failure to investigate a denial made in error may mean a plaintiff is out of luck if it tries to bring a claim after the expiry of two years from the date of denial.

The Plaintiff Condominium Corporation (Condo Corp) brought a claim arising from the denial of a claim for water damage to a condominium known as the Palisades Park Villas in Edmonton (Property). In this case, the various insurers, who were subscribers to the Condo Corp’s policy of insurance, applied for summary dismissal of the claim on the basis that it was brought after the limitation period expired.

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Are parents liable for their adult children’s social host mistakes?

In the 2006 case Childs v. Desormeaux, the Supreme Court of Canadaprovided initial clarification on the law of social host liability, finding that hosting a party at which alcohol is served does not, without more, establish the degree of proximity required to give rise to a duty of care. However, Childs v. Desormeaux left open the possibility of a positive duty of care in a number of scenarios, including cases of “paternalistic relationships of supervision and control, such as those of parent-child or teacher-student” (at para 36). It is a live question of concern to insurers and hosts alike to determine how far such a duty might extend.

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What’s in a name? When is an “unnamed insured” entitled to insurance proceeds?

Is it possible for a party not named in an insurance policy to be entitled to insurance proceeds under that policy? In short, it is. Parties who are not a “named insured” under an insurance policy can be eligible to receive insurance proceeds directly as a replacement for lost property that was covered under the policy of insurance. University of Alberta Professor Barbara Billingsley describes “unnamed insureds” as follows:

Named insureds are mentioned by name in the contract as persons to whom insurance proceeds are payable. Typically, named insureds are the purchasers of the insurance. In contrast, unnamed insureds are not mentioned by name in the contract but are entitled to receive insurance benefits because they fall within a particular class of person covered by the contract. 

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