Dominion Lending Centres (DLC) has received a statement of claim in relation to an insurance product underwritten by Manulife.
The claim, filed by two individual plaintiffs in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, seeks an order for damages of $800 million. The claim is also seeking certification under Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, said a release from Founders Advantage Capital – an investor in Dominion.
The claim refers to a product called Mortgage Protection Plan, a mortgage creditor insurance product underwritten by Manulife, formerly administered by Benesure Canada, and offered through Credit Security Insurance Agency (CSIA). The claim alleges that Benesure is an unlicensed insurer and that DLC is liable for distributing the MPP product through the DLC network.
In 2013, Manulife, Benesure, and other parties faced a BC class action lawsuit in relation to the MPP product, which failed to be certified in 2016.
A release said that DLC is contractually indemnified from Benesure, CSIA, and Manulife for any expenses, damages, and/or liability arising from the offering of MPP through DLC’s brokers.
“We consider this claim to be frivolous and entirely without merit and we intend on launching a vigorous defense,” commented DLC president Gary Mauris in a statement. “Unfortunately, when you are the largest player in your sector, you become a target for these types of nuisance claims. We are comfortable with both our legal position relating to the claim and our contractual indemnity from Benesure, Manulife and CSIA.”
This is not the first time Manulife was embroiled in a legal case involving a controversial insurance product. Last year, the insurer was revealed to have concealed from shareholders its legal battle over universal life insurance policies being abused as investment vehicles.