Failure to comply with statutory requirements may not be fatal to claim for indemnity under a homeowners insurance policy
The Court found that it could apply the remedial provisions of s. 109 of The Saskatchewan Insurance Act to the requirements of s. 3(3) of The Small Claims Act.
Lamb v. Mennonite Mutual Fire Insurance Co. of Saskatchewan,  S.J. No. 272, April 15, 2009, Saskatchewan Provincial Court, G.T. Seniuk Prov. Ct. J.
The Plaintiff Insured suffered an insurable loss when his house was broken into on June 19, 2006. At the time of the loss, the Insured had a policy with the Defendant Insurer which was in good standing. The Insured issued a Statement of Claim on June 4, 2007. The Insurer alleged that the claim was vitiated by the Insured’s willfully false statements. In the alternative, the Insurer relied on Statutory Condition 11 of The Saskatchewan Insurance Act which provides for an appraisal in the event of disagreement as to value of insured property. When the Insurer filed a Dispute Note, the Insured was still within the limitation period and was in the legal position to cure any irregularities. At the time of the Application, he was outside the limitation period. The Insurer asked the Court to dismiss his Statement of Claim which would have meant that the Insured would not be able to start another Action.
The issues before the Court were as follows:
1. Had the Insurer waived the requirement of Statutory Condition 11 until after the trial?
2. If “yes”, could the parties waive the requirements of s. 3(3) of The Small Claims Act?
3. If the answer to Issue No. 1 or 2 was “no”, could this Court apply the remedial provisions of s. 109 of The Saskatchewan Insurance Act to the requirements of s. 3(3) of The Small Claims Act?
The Court answered No. 1 in the affirmative, found that submissions on No. 2 were insufficient for it to reach a conclusion, and since the Court found that it could apply the remedial provisions of s. 109 of The Saskatchewan Insurance Act, it did not decide the issue. Therefore, the Court found that it had jurisdiction to proceed with the trial.
This case was originally summarized by Cameron B. Elder and originally edited by David W. Pilley.
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