Aviva facing $100M class action suit for denying business interruption insurance
July 6, 2020
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Thomson Rogers has issued a Canada-wide class action proceeding claiming $100 million in damages on behalf of Canadian businesses who have been denied business interruption insurance by Aviva Insurance Company of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aviva sold Enterprise Insurance policies to Canadian businesses, which included protection for the loss of business income as a result of an outbreak of a contagious or infectious disease (contagious disease coverage).
“Aviva has allegedly failed to honour its good faith obligations to its policyholders with respect to business interruption claims resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This has put Canadian companies on the brink when they are most vulnerable,” said Robert Ben and Stephen Birman, partners at Thomson, Rogers.
Canadian businesses small and large have applied to Aviva for contagious disease coverage and have been denied coverage by Aviva, which takes the position that the global COVID-19 pandemic does not qualify as a contagious or infectious disease under the Policies.
The representative plaintiff, Nordik Windows Inc., is a window manufacturing and installation company located in Ontario, which had to close its operations for several months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thomson Rogers has been contacted by Canadian businesses who have suffered extreme economic hardship as a result of Aviva’s failure to honour their business interruption claims and seeks damages including punitive damages on their behalf.
Many Canadian businesses are unaware that they have contagious disease coverage and have not submitted claims to Aviva.
“Canadian businesses insured by Aviva should immediately review their policies to determine whether they include these significant coverages that are often referred to as Restrictive Access, Negative Publicity or Interruption by Civil Authority coverages,” say Ben and Birman.