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The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting required shut down of many businesses has given rise to extraordinary claims for business interruption insurance, not only in Canada but around the world. Many of these claims are being denied by insurers. These unprecedented and novel claims are becoming the subject of legal actions and it is expected that judicial decisions in each province and territory will be needed for final determinations.

As a result, we have come to the difficult but necessary conclusion that GIO is not the appropriate forum for reviewing complaints about the denial of claims for business interruption insurance that are related specifically to COVID-19 and therefore, pursuant to section 9(d) of our Terms of Reference, GIO cannot review these types of complaints at this time. Additionally, we believe that until final judicial determinations have been made, it would be unfair to consumers for GIO to create potential false expectations that we will be able to resolve their complaints when insurers are seeking legal interpretation and waiting for decisions from the courts on these issues. This decision also demonstrates our intent to make sure that our efforts respect consumers’ valuable time and avoid impractical steps to resolve their claims.

GIO remains committed to assisting consumers and insurers to resolve their disputes where possible.

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