What is the nature of the agreement?

This agreement to be submitted to the Quebec Superior Court for its approval on October 25, 2013, concerns a class action lawsuit that was launched by Option consommateurs, a consumer association, against 19 insurance companies.

Under the agreement, 15 insurance companies agree to pay a total of $ 40 million to settle the class action.

Who are the 15 insurance companies?

The agreement applies to more than 690,000 policies of insurance in force in January of 1998 and issued by one of the following fifteen insurance companies:

  • 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

Who is covered by this agreement?

The agreement applies to all individuals who held a home insurance policy providing coverage for additional living expenses with one of these fifteen companies during the ice storm of January 1998 and lived at that time in one of the municipalities covered by the class action.

What is the amount of the indemnity?

The agreement provides for an indemnity of at least $50.92 for each home insurance policy.

A second payment is scheduled for the autumn of 2014. More details, including the amount of this payment, will be announced at a later date.

Do I need to register to obtain an indemnity under this agreement?

No. The indemnity payment of $50.92 was or will be mailed to the last address recorded on your home insurance policy that was in effect in 1998.

It is important to note that the cheques are made out to all of the insured persons who were named on the policy in effect at that time. They indemnify all the persons living under the same roof in 1998.

If you have moved since 1998 or plan to do so in the near future, you need to inform us of your new address by calling 1 866-288-3683.

How can I report a change of address?

If you have moved since 1998 or plan to do so in the near future, you need to inform us of your new address by calling 1 866-288-3683.

When can I expect to receive payment?

Policyholders covered under the agreement will receive their first payment in February 2014, in the amount of $50.92 for each home insurance policy.

A second payment is scheduled for the autumn of 2014. More details, including the amount of this payment, will be announced at a later date.

I can't remember the name of the insurance company I was dealing with when the ice storm hit in 1998. Can I still process a change of address?

You do not have to provide the name of your insurer in order to process a change of address. A change of address can be processed by providing all or part of the following information:

  • Your 1998 home insurance policy number
  • Your 1998 address
  • Your full name
  • Your current address

You must provide the information to the Manager of the changes of address by calling 1 866-288-3683.

Am I eligible for the indemnity under this agreement even if I didn't submit a claim during the 1998 ice storm?

Yes.

What name(s) will appear on the cheque as payee(s) for the indemnity?

The cheque will be made out to all of the insured persons who were named on the home insurance policy that was in effect in 1998, in accordance with the rules prescribed by law for this type of situation. This cheque indemnifies all persons living under the same roof in 1998.

For example, if the policy named you and your spouse, the cheque will be made out in both your names as payees.

What should I do if I divorced or separated from the person who was my spouse in 1998?

The cheque will be made out to all of the insured persons who were named on the home insurance policy that was in effect in 1998, in accordance with the rules prescribed by law for this type of situation.

For example, if the policy named you and your spouse, the cheque will be made out in both your names as payees.

The same principle applies if there has been a divorce or separation since 1998. If this is your situation, you will have to make arrangements with your ex-spouse in order to cash the cheque.

What about cases where the policyholder or one of the insured persons has died?

The cheque will be made out to all of the insured persons who were named on the home insurance policy that was in effect in 1998, in accordance with the rules prescribed by law for this type of situation. However, in this particular situation, we invite you to send an e-mail to the Manager of the changes of address at  info@icestormclassaction.ca or by calling 1 866-288-3683.

Once the information is confirmed, a cheque will be made out to the estate of the deceased.

During the ice storm of January 1998, I was insured with another home insurance company, not one of those involved in the agreement with Option consommateurs. Am I eligible for the indemnity?

No.

For more information, please consult the following documents:

For other information, please communicate with Option Consommateurs and visit their web site: www.option-consommateurs.org

To communicate your new address: www.icestormclassaction.ca