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Action for Section B benefits barred by policy’s limitation clause

Shanks v TD et al, 2019 NBQB 269

The Plaintiff, Bruce Shanks, was involved in two motor vehicle accidents.  The first accident occurred September 28, 2007.  The second occurred November 30, 2007.  Mr. Shanks was insured by the Defendant, TD Home and Auto Insurance Company (hereafter “TD”) pursuant to a SPF No. 1 Standard Automobile Insurance Policy.

Mr. Shanks was injured in the accidents and applied to TD for medical expenses and income replacement benefits pursuant to Section B of the SPF No. 1 Standard Automobile Insurance Policy.  In January of 2008, TD denied Mr. Shanks’ claim.  TD informed Mr. Shanks they were retroactively cancelling his policy because he used his vehicle for business purposes without informing them.

On April 30, 2012, Mr. Shanks filed a Notice of Action against TD and several other Defendants.  TD moved to have Mr. Shanks claim against it for Section B benefits dismissed.  TD argued Mr. Shanks’ claim was barred pursuant to the limitation period prescribed by section 24 of the former Limitation of Actions Act, section 262 of the Insurance Act and/or the SPF No. 1 Standard Automobile Insurance Policy.

Justice Clendening of New Brunswick’s Court of Queen’s Bench allowed TD’s motion and dismissed Mr. Shanks’ claim for Section B benefits.  The applicable limitation period is section 7(c) of the Standard Automobile Insurance Policy, which states “every action against the insurer for the recovery of a claim under this section shall be commenced within one year from the date on which the cause of action arose and not afterwards.”  Mr. Shanks’ Notice of Action was filed more than four years after the September 2007 accident and more than four years after being notified by TD that it would not be paying Section B benefits.

You can read Shanks v TD et al, 2019 NBQB 269, in its entirety here.

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