In this bad faith ICBC claim(Shaffner v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2012 BCSC 1263) the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia denied the plaintiff’s claim under an insurance policy alleging she had falsely declared that she was the principal operator of the vehicle. As well, ICBC took the position that the plaintiff had made false representations material to ICBC’s investigation and assessment of the plaintiff’s claim.
ICBC applied to sever the claim by the plaintiff that ICBC breached its duty of good faith to the insured from the issue of whether the plaintiff is entitled to benefits under the contract of insurance. Prior to denying the plaintiff’s claim, the adjuster and investigator working on the claim sought the advice of an in-house lawyer employed by ICBC.
In granting the severance the court was of the view that there was a real prospect of prejudice to the ICBC in that the probability is that it could not mount a defence without being required to waive privilege over those communications with the lawyer regarding the adjudication stage of the case.
The Supreme Court Judge ordered the bad faith claim severed from the claim of the plaintiff for coverage under the policy and also ordered that all discovery and document production obligations of the parties were stayed until a determination of the plaintiff’s claim for coverage.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness