Aviva Insurance Company of Canada (Aviva Canada) is staring down the barrel of yet another business interruption lawsuit related to the pandemic, as an Ontario court has certified a class-action against the insurer.
Judge Edward Belobaba had certified a $300 million lawsuit on behalf of representative plaintiffs Nordik Windows and Nordik Cash and Carry, as well as two other companies.
The Canadian Press reported that Aviva Canada is being singled out from 14 other insurers – insurers that are also being sued for business losses in a separate class action – because Aviva “offers more coverage related to situations like the pandemic.”
“We are pleased the court has allowed the claims to move forward,” commented Nordik Windows CEO Philippe Bechard on the Ontario court’s certification of the class action.
“COVID-19 has hit a lot of businesses pretty hard. It seems Aviva wants to fight us at every step. All we want is for Aviva to honour its insurance policy.”
The law firms representing the class action’s plaintiffs explained that approximately 28,000 Canadian businesses purchased Aviva’s business interruption policies. But they also said that Aviva denied the plaintiffs of coverage on the basis that the policies “do not provide cover for global pandemics.”
“As is the case with all major insurers, we have always maintained that there is no coverage for business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic under our standard policies but respect the legal process that is currently underway,” Aviva said in an email statement.
“Aviva has never discouraged policyholders from making claims and will continue to work with impacted parties in accordance with the court process.”
Read more: Hotels slap Aviva Canada with class action
This is not the only ongoing business interruption lawsuit Aviva is facing. The insurer was named the defendant in a complaint filed on behalf of the Denturists Association of Ontario, as well as another lawsuit by the Royal Canadian Legion. In July, hotels represented by Lerners LLP also sued the insurer for denying its business income coverage, seeking $150 million.