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HomeNewsInsurance company sued by City of PG over pandemic-related revenue losses

Insurance company sued by City of PG over pandemic-related revenue losses

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The City of Prince George finds itself in a legal dispute with its insurance provider.

The City is suing Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Canada (RSA) for damages after the company denied its claim for business interruption coverage during the pandemic.

The document was filed within the Supreme Court of BC’s Vancouver Registry on June 15th.

In March of 2020, the mayor and council shuttered civic facilities, like the CN Centre, the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena, Elksentre Arena, and the Kin Centre arenas in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

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It wasn’t until July 28th, 2021 that the city council greenlit the re-opening of indoor recreational facilities.

In addition, local swimming pools, as well as the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre, were forced to temporarily close their doors.

“Prince George suffered a significant loss of revenue from the closure and then limited operations of the civic facilities,” said the lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

No dollar figure for the losses was provided in the lawsuit and the city declined to comment as the matter is before the courts.

On March 16th, 2020, all casinos in BC including the Treasure Cove in Prince George were closed temporarily and did not re-open to the public until July of 2021.

The city receive a percentage of the net gaming income, which also impacted civic operations according to the suit.

The city says it paid “significant” premiums to Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Canada (RSA), one of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurance companies, to gain protection under its business interruption coverage.

Prince George claims that in August 2020, RSA denied coverage for the losses.

It also claims RSA is contractually bound to the policy’s general civil authority coverage to cover some or all of Prince George’s losses, with the policy also providing coverage for losses resulting from interruption of business caused by damage by an insured peril.

“Viruses are insured perils,” said the lawsuit. “The insured perils include known and unknown risks, including substances such as viral agents that render areas unusable. There is no specific exclusion in the policy for the peril or risk of viral pathogens, contagious disease or a pandemic.”

The lawsuit also noted RSA denied the claim for several reasons, including that there had been no physical loss or damage to insured property in order to trigger business interruption coverage.

But the suit went on to claim that RSA did not consider provisions in the coverage denial and did not deny coverage on the basis of any exclusion clauses.

The city is claiming general damages, damages for breach of contract, and special damages.

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