Causation and Insurance Broker Negligence

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently commented on one of the leading cases pertaining to insurance broker negligence, Fletcher v. Manitoba Public Insurance Company, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 191.  

In Zefferino v. Meloche Monnex Insurance Company, 2013 ONCA 127 (C.A.), the plaintiff sued his insurance company alleging that the insurer should have offered him optional income replacement benefits, and claiming a loss of IRBs which should have been available to him. The plaintiff argued that the ratio in Fletcher did not require a plaintiff to prove that the acts or omissions of the insurer caused the loss, but rather only that the insurer had a duty to inform the insured, that it breached its duty of care and that there was a gap in coverage. 

The Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff is not relieved of the normal burden of proof in an insurance broker context and must show causation.  There was no evidence to prove that Zefferino would have purchased optional insurance coverage other than a bald and self-serving assertion, and therefore his action failed.   

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