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March 16, 2011

The Appraisal Process in s. 128 of the Insurance Act

Letts v. Aviva Canada Inc., [2010] O.J. No. 5801 (S.C.J.)

This case deals with the appraisal process in s. 128 of the Insurance Act.

The plaintiffs made a fire loss claim and prepared a 56 page Request to Admit which contained an inventory of items they allege were destroyed or damage by the fire. They argued the insurer was required to specify the items took issue with as a condition precedent to the appraisal process.

Justice James disagreed:

While this may make sense in an appropriate case, I do not agree with the insureds that the insurer must provide a detailed response to the claim of the insureds before being able to invoke the appraisal mechanism contemplated by Section 128 of the Insurance Act.

Section 148 of the Act sets out what needs to be done prior to the appraisal process: a specific demand must be made and proof of loss delivered. Nothing else is required.

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