Time Limits and Limitation Periods
If you have missed a time period or the insurance company is telling you you are out of time call Bayda Law Firm 403-670-0070 as soon as possible as sometimes damage control can be done and a claim can still be initiated.
There are time limits and time periods you must follow.
There are time limits within which you must:
1. File a proof of loss or formal application for insurance benefits with the insurance company, and
2. Initiate a law suit if you intend on appealing your claim. Time for filing a proof of loss. This time period is usually set out in the insurance contract. If you have a group insurance policy through work, you will usually not have a copy of the insurance contract. In this case usually the personnel or payroll department of your work will have the necessary details.
If you have missed this time period, in most provinces the courts have the "power to relieve against forfeiture." This means that a court has the power to extend the time period within which you should have applied for disability insurance. You may have to show some reasonable explanation why you did not file your disability claim earlier in order to have a judge allow the late filing of a claim.
It is in your best interests to advise the insurance company that you will be making a disability claim as soon as you are aware that you may have a valid claim. Any delay in filing may prejudice your claim.
2. Time for commencing litigation. There is a time period within which you must file official court documents if you intend to appeal your denial of benefits through the court system. This is called the "limitation period" and is the period of time within which a claim must be officially filed at the Court House. If the claim is not filed within this period of time, then your claim will be "out of time" and you will not be able to have a judge consider whether the insurance company should have paid your disability claim or not. This period varies from province to province and depends on the exact wording of the insurance policy. Usually the policy contract provides that you must commence any court action within 12 months from the time benefits were denied or from the date they were terminated. If you are unsure of the limitation period in your particular case, you should write the insurance company or adjuster who is dealing with your file, and ask them to put in writing what the applicable limitation period is. Some insurance companies will advise you of the limitation period in their denial letter. Some insurance companies don't. The onus is on you to ask them or if in doubt to hire a lawyer to file a formal claim at the court house against the disability insurance company.
3. What if you have missed the limitation period? If you have missed the limitation period there are still some arguments that your lawyer can make on your behalf. If the insurance companies denial of benefits was equivocal or ambiguous that can extend your limitation period. In some provinces an argument can be made that the disability benefits are payable month by month and that late filing of a formal claim only prevents you from claiming benefits for the period prior to the limitation period.