“Arbitrator Slams Insurer for Acting in Bad Faith”

Posted February 25, 2016

A recent decision by arbitrator Knox Henry of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) in Thomas Waldock and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company has sent a wake-up call to all insurance companies about their primary duty of utmost good faith to their insureds when dealing with first party claims.

In this case, a decision regarding expenses, FSCO A13-001725, on November 16, 2015 (and also FSCO A13-001725, on Nov.10, 2014), the first party claim was a claim for Statutory Accident Benefits (“SABS”) pursuant to the Ontario Standard Automobile Insurance Policy.

By way of background, on March 25, 2008 Mr. Waldock was assisting an elderly couple whose vehicle was stuck in a snow bank during a storm.  After he helped push the vehicle out of the snow bank, he was standing near the rear bumper of the stranded vehicle when he was struck by a pickup truck which had lost control on the road, throwing him five to ten feet.

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