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TD Insurance’s unique defence to BI class action lawsuits


July 30, 2020   by Greg Meckbach


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A coverage dispute lawsuit filed in Ontario mistakenly alleges that TD General Insurance writes business interruption coverage, the insurer says.

A proposed Ontario class action filed July 6 alleges TD and dozens of other insurers are in breach of contract for refusing to pay out on business interruption claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Allegations against the insurers have not been proven in court.

TD “provides business interruption insurance to class members with its property insurance contracts,” lawyers for Koskie Minksy and Merchant Law group wrote in that proposed class action.

But data provided to regulators indicate that the property and casualty subsidiaries of Toronto-Dominion Bank did not write any commercial property insurance in 2019.

“TD does not offer business interruption insurance and believe our inclusion in the case is an error,” a spokesperson for TD Insurance told Canadian Underwriter Wednesday.

Security National ranked sixth – with 4.48% market share in 2019 – on the list of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurers in the 2020 Canadian Underwriter Statistical Guide. The Security National group also includes TD Home and Auto, Primmum and TD General. In Ontario, TD ranks fourth in home and auto by market share.

Because TD does not write business interruption coverage, it was released from a different proposed class-action lawsuit filed this past April in Saskatchewan, a TD Insurance spokesperson said Wednesday.

The representative plaintiff in the Saskatchewan case is JKT Holdings Ltd., which operates Memories restaurant. JKT bought its business interruption insurance from a different insurer. Because it is a proposed class action, the law firm representing Memories (Merchant) named several of Canada’s largest insurers in addition to Memories’ own insurer.

The owner of Memories, Thomas Siarkos, told Canadian Underwriter earlier his business lost income because of a provincial order issued this past March restricting Saskatchewan restaurants to takeout and delivery only.