Intact Financial Corporation announced on October 23 that its insurance subsidiaries operating in Quebec have reached an agreement in principle with Option consommateurs for an out-of-court settlement of a class action lawsuit regarding the 1998 ice storm. This tentative agreement is subject to approval by the Québec Superior Court during the next few months.
The class action suit launched by Option consommateurs sought to determine, among other things, whether the insurance companies had an obligation to compensate all policyholders included in the class action for additional living expenses incurred as a result of the power outages as well as the amount to be reimbursed.
The 1998 ice storm was Canada’s most costly natural disaster. Approximately $1.6 billion was paid out to consumers by insurance companies, including more than $350 million by Intact subsidiaries. The agreement with Option consommateurs applies to more than 200,000 clients insured with Belair Insurance Company Inc., Allianz Insurance Company of Canada, AXA Assurances inc. and ING Insurance Company of Canada (Commerce Group).
This agreement in principle involves only Intact Financial Corporation’s insurance subsidiaries and the class action suit against the 15 other insurance companies is still in progress. The amount of the agreement is $12.5 million.
Mr. Jean Saint-Onge and Mr. Jean-Philippe Lincourt from Lavery represent Intact Insurance with respect to the proposed settlement this class action.