Auto Service World
News   March 18, 2002   by Auto Service World

Supreme Court of Canada Ruling May Mean Millions in Refunded Auto Deductibles

Consumers who had their cars written off, but paid the deductible on their policy, may be in for a refund.
Lawyers in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver have filed a number of lawsuits against car insurance companies in courts in Ontario and Alberta. As many as two million Canadians in six provinces and the three territories who have written off their cars in the last 10 years could be eligible for refunds of their insurance deductibles ranging from $250 to $50,000 as a result of a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling.
The lawsuits involve insurance deductibles withheld by the companies for cars totalled in collisions. Anyone in Canada whose car was written off and who paid a deductible could be affected.
On March 8, 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal by the Co-Operators General Insurance Company, meaning an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that policy holders whose cars are written off should get the full value of their vehicle, and that no deductible should be applied.
“The court ruling states that people must be paid the actual cash value
of their car, not the actual cash value less the deductible,” says Kirk Baert of the Koskie Minsky law firm.
Bill McNally of McNally Cuming Allchurch stated that “the Supreme Court of Canada has decided that they do not want to tinker with the Ontario decision. It means that for all intents and purposes, it’s the law of the land.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you consider there are thousands of people involved, it amounts to a lot of money”, McNally said.
David Klein of Klein Lyons said that “about 100,000 people total their cars annually in the affected provinces, so many people may have a claim.” Affected policyholders should call to find out if the insurance company they deal with has been sued.

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