Third class-action certified against Aviva over COVID-19 coverage for lost business

TORONTO — An Ontario court has certified a third class-action lawsuit against Aviva Insurance Company of Canada on behalf of policyholders who suffered business interruption losses as a result of COVID-19.

Judge Edward Belobaba certified a $300-million Canada-wide lawsuit on behalf of representative plaintiffs Nordik Windows Inc. and Nordik Cash and Carry Inc., along with two other companies.

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The case is in addition to one certified on behalf of the Denturists Association of Ontario and another by the Royal Canadian Legion.

Aviva was singled out because it offers more coverage related to situations like the pandemic than the other 14 insurers being sued in a separate class-action.

"We are pleased the court has allowed the claims to move forward," stated Nordik Windows’ CEO Philippe Bechard.

"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"

Law firms representing the Nordik plaintiffs said about 28,000 Canadian businesses purchased the relevant Aviva policies.

Plaintiffs' lawyers say Aviva denied 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," the company wrote in an email.

"Aviva has never discouraged policyholders from making claims and will continue to work with impacted parties in accordance with the court process."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2021.

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