If your disability, life or critical illness insurer denies your claim, your insurance company may be liable for increased damages payable to you.
Increased damages above and beyond what the policy provides for you may be payable to you if your insurer does not act in a “good faith” manner when processing your claim.
In the case of Godwin v. Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc. 2018 BCSC 99 par 145, the BC Supreme Court awarded $30,000 in compensation for mental distress arising from the insurance company’s breach of contract.
In this case, the insurance company breached its duty of good faith by delaying the acceptance of the disability insurance claim by 34-40 months.
An insurance policy is a contract for “peace of mind”, the breach of which could foreseeably result in mental distress.
In addition, where the failures of an Insurance Company’s claim handling are “so exceptional as to require denunciation”, additional punitive damages may be awarded. In the Godwin v. Desjardins case, the Court awarded an additional $30,000 for punitive damages.
Where the insurance company has a pattern of engaging in the same type of bad faith conduct, higher punitive damages may be awarded.
Your insurance denial situation is unique and must be analyzed individually.
If your insurance company has denied your claim,
Please call (604) 876 – 7000 for your first free consultation.