Khalid v 2262351 Ontario Inc.: Third party discoverability grounded in reasonability

Introduction

In negligence-based actions, defendants routinely issue third party claims for contribution and indemnity to reduce their liability exposure. As a result, the plaintiff can commence a claim believing certain defendants to have caused the plaintiff’s loss, but, after successive third party claims, learn that several other persons might have contributed to the loss. To increase the prospect of recovery, the plaintiff often moves to add these third parties as defendants, long-after the impugned act or omission took place.

In these circumstances, third parties should consider whether to oppose a motion to be added as a defendant pursuant to section 21(1) of the Limitations Act, 2002:

21 (1) If a limitation period in respect of a claim against a person has expired, the claim shall not be pursued by adding the person as a party to any existing proceeding.

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Doctrine of unjust enrichment may deprive named beneficiaries of life insurance proceeds

Designated beneficiaries of a life insurance policy have traditionally been entitled to a high degree of certainty that they would be entitled to the policy proceeds upon the death of the insured. This certainty has been jeopardized in a recent Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) decision, Moore v Sweet, 2018 SCC 52.

The facts

Michelle Moore (“Michelle”) continued to pay the premiums of a life insurance policy on the death of her ex-husband (the “Policy”), Lawrence Moore (“Lawrence”), after the couple separated. This was in accordance with an oral agreement between Michelle and Lawrence. In exchange, Michelle would be entitled to the Policy proceeds upon Lawrence’s death.

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When cyber fraud strikes: Delineating coverage if employees are duped

The growth and sophistication of modern fraud and cyber security attacks has necessitated adaptable countermeasures by for-profit and non-profit organizations alike.

Of these countermeasures, the emergence of niche cyber crime/fraud insurance (e.g. cyber liability insurance) has given credence to the ethos that such attacks are not a matter of “if” but “when”. [1] One of the benefits of these forms of insurance is anticipating the pernicious reality of the causes of cyberattacks: vulnerabilities may arise from factors internal to an organization, as much as threats external to it. However, such policies similar to all insurance policies are not without their limits.

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When a cancellation isn’t a cancellation: Cancelling an insurance policy under the Alberta Insurance Act

When it comes to cancelling an insurance policy, both insurers and insureds need to complete the mandated steps; otherwise, they could potentially face a dispute as to whether or not coverage should occur.

The recent decision from Justice Warren of the British Columbia Supreme Court in McBrien v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2018 BCSC 553 reinforces the need for attention to all the details when it comes to cancelling an insurance policy.

The facts

On June 30, 2007, the plaintiffs in the action were injured in a single vehicle car accident that occurred in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Both plaintiffs were owners named in an owner’s certificate issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), which entitled them to third-party liability coverage under the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation, BC Reg.

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A reminder from the BC Supreme Court that in the absence of ambiguity, courts will give effect to the ordinary meaning of insurance policy language

In a recent decision, Surespan Structures Ltd. v. Lloyd’s Underwriters, 2018 BCSC 1058, the British Columbia Supreme Court (the “Court”) had to determine whether a Design-Builder and an Engineer were “Insureds” for the purposes of a project-specific professional liability insurance policy. This is an important decision for insurers, insureds and professionals providing coverage advice, as the Court provided a comprehensive and detailed summary of the law on the interpretation of insurance policy contracts.

Background

The Design-Builder and Engineer sought a declaration that they were Insureds under a project-specific professional liability insurance policy that had been obtained by a third party, the Registered Professional of Record for the Project.

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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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Usanovic v. Penncorp Life Insurance Co.

Common law contract and principles require an insurer’s duty of good faith to an insured. The Ontario Court of Appeal (the “Court”) has recently confirmed that this duty does not include a general obligation to provide notice of an insured’s limitation periods and for bringing a coverage claim against the insurer.

The Court l has recently confirmed that where there is no statutory provision to the contrary, the window of time in which an individual can sue their insurer remains open for two years. In 2017, the Court held that insurance providers do not have a duty to inform insureds of pending limitation periods.

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