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Changes to the B.C. Insurance Act

Amendments and regulations to the BC Insurance Act will come into effect on July 1, 2012. The changes are intended to protect insurance customers.

Highlights include reforms to:

  • Lengthen the limitation period in which legal claims against insurance companies must be made to two years from one.
  • Require insurance companies to notify claimants of limitation periods and dispute resolution processes.
  • Strengthen the language to clarify that fire coverage on home insurance policies includes fires resulting from any cause, including earthquake, except those that are specifically excluded under the regulations.
  • Allow for a 30 day “grace period” in which to pay overdue premiums for life and health insurance contracts.
  • Provide consumers of group insurance products a right to obtain a copy of the key parts of those insurance policies.

Require insurance companies to put in place internal complaint resolution procedures and offer consumers access to ombudsperson-type services if complaints cannot be resolved internally.
Insurance companies will notify their clients of any changes applicable to them. More information can be found on the Ministry of Finance's website.