Case Commentary – Plaintiff Cannot Reap the Benefit of Life Insurance Company’s Mistake

The Court of Appeal has rejected a man’s attempt to overturn a lower court’s decision that found in favour of his life insurance provider that had mistakenly showed a paid up value of $13.4 million for his policy.

Alguire v. The Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company 

The plaintiff in this claim had purchased a guaranteed renewable life insurance policy in 1982 with a $5 million face value. The listed paid-up value of the policy in 2016 was $13.4 million, or almost three times the purchased value.

In his lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that the policy included “inflation protection” that allowed the benefit amount to grow over the insured’s lifetime. The insurer, on the other hand, took the position that the values were a mistake, calculated on the wrong amount. The plaintiff asked the court to force his insurer to honour the listed value.

The trial judge found that his claim had no “objective air of reality” and the matter was dismissed.

Appeal court confirms findings of trial judge

On appeal, the court agreed that the plaintiff had not actually suffered a loss. There was no reference to inflation protection in the insurer’s files relating to the plaintiff’s initial application for life insurance, and the values shown in the policy were reflective of a common mistake.

Accordingly, the trial judge was correct in finding that the original value of the policy was the proper value, and dismissing the plaintiff’s claim.

Dedicated legal advice for life insurance claims

Buying life insurance provides peace of mind. When a life insurance claim is covered, family and loved ones receive valuable financial support in a difficult and challenging time. Unfortunately, when a life insurance claim is denied, the consequences can be devastating.

At Derfel Injury Law, our insurance lawyers have experience helping claimants obtain the full benefit of their insurance policies. Where a claim has been wrongfully denied, we are there to guide clients through the process of fighting the decision, offering support and legal expertise at every step. To discuss a life insurance matter with one of our lawyers, contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment. We can meet potential clients in Toronto.