15 insurers announce having reached an agreement-in-principle regarding the January 1998 Quebec ice storm
MONTREAL, September 11, 2013,
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Aviva Insurance Company of Canada (Formerly General Accident Assurance Company)
Desjardins General Insurance Inc.
Industrial Alliance Auto and Home Insurance Inc.
La Capitale General Insurance Inc.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
L'Unique General Insurance Inc.
Optimum Insurance Company Inc.
Promutuel Verchères Société Mutuelle d’assurance Générale
SSQ Société d’assurances Générales Inc.
The Canadian Union Insurance Company
The Missisquoi Insurance Company
The Personal General Insurance Inc.
The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company and
Traders General Insurance Company
announced today that they have reached an agreement in principle with Option consommateurs for an out-of-court settlement of a class action lawsuit regarding the 1998 ice storm. This tentative agreement is subject to approval by the Superior Court OF Quebec on October 25, 2013.
The class action suit launched by Option consommateurs sought to determine, among other things, whether the insurance companies had an obligation to compensate all policyholders included in the class action for additional living expenses incurred as a result of the power outages, as well as the amount to be reimbursed.
The 1998 ice storm was Canada's most costly natural disaster. Approximately $1.6 billion was paid out to consumers by insurance companies.
The agreement with Option consommateurs applies to more than 690 000 policies issued by the 15 insurers.
The amount of the agreement is 40 million dollars and the details of the agreement will be set out in a public notice explaining eligibility conditions and the rights of the consumers who are covered by the agreement.
In the meantime, consumers can obtain more information, including the list of municipalities where one had to reside in January 1998 to be covered by the agreement, by visiting the websites of the 15 insurers and the following ones that will all be updated regularly:
- Option consommateurs : www.option-consommateurs.org
- Sylvestre Fafard Painchaud, Option consommateurs’ lawyers : www.sfpavocats.ca
In addition, the consumers covered by the agreement who have moved since the ice storm must proceed to their change of address by visiting the website of the Manager of the changes of address at : www.icestormclassaction.ca or by dialing 1 866-288-3683, if they have no access to Internet.