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This Act is current to August 15, 2018
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Insurance Act

[RSBC 2012] CHAPTER 1

Deposited with Clerk of the Legislative
Assembly on June 21, 2012

Part 3 — Life Insurance

Definitions

37   In this Part:

"application" means an application for insurance or for the reinstatement of insurance;

"beneficiary" means a person, other than the insured or the insured's personal representative, to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is made payable in a contract or by a declaration;

"blanket insurance" means group insurance that covers loss

(a) arising from specific hazards incidental to or defined by reference to a particular activity or activities, and

(b) occurring during a limited or specified period not exceeding 30 days in duration;

"contract" means a contract of life insurance;

"court" means the Supreme Court;

"creditor's group insurance" means insurance effected by a creditor under which the lives of a number of the creditor's debtors are insured severally under a single contract;

"debtor insured" means a debtor whose life is insured under a contract of creditor's group insurance;

"declaration", except in sections 76 to 79, means an instrument signed by the insured

(a) with respect to which an endorsement is made on the policy,

(b) that identifies the contract, or

(c) that describes the insurance or insurance fund or a part of the insurance or insurance fund,

in which the insured

(d) designates, or alters or revokes the designation of, the insured, the insured's personal representative or a beneficiary as one to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable, or

(e) makes, alters or revokes an appointment under section 62 (1) or a nomination referred to in section 68;

"family insurance" means insurance under which the lives of the insured and one or more persons related to the insured by blood, marriage or adoption or because of a marriage-like relationship, including a marriage-like relationship between persons of the same gender, are insured under a single contract between an insurer and the insured;

"fraternal society" means a society, order or association incorporated for the purpose of making with its members only, and not for profit, contracts of life insurance and accident and sickness insurance in accordance with its constitution, bylaws and rules and this Act;

"group insurance" means insurance, other than creditor's group insurance and family insurance, under which the lives of a number of persons are insured severally under a single contract between an insurer and an employer or other person;

"group life insured" means a person, called the "primary person", whose life is insured under a contract of group insurance, but does not include a person whose life is insured under the contract as a person dependent on or related to the primary person;

"instrument" includes a will;

"insurance" means life insurance;

"insured" means

(a) in the case of group insurance, in the provisions of this Part relating to the designation of beneficiaries or personal representatives as recipients of insurance money and their rights and status, the group life insured, and

(b) in all other cases, the person who makes a contract with an insurer;

"spouse" means a person who

(a) is married to another person, or

(b) is living with another person in a marriage-like relationship;

"will" includes a codicil.

Application of Part 2

38   Section 14 applies to contracts of life insurance.

Application of this Part

39   (1) Despite any agreement, condition or stipulation to the contrary, but subject to regulations under section 150 of this Act and section 103 of the Insurance Amendment Act, 2009, this Part applies to a contract made in British Columbia on or after July 1, 1962, and, subject to subsections (2) and (3), applies to a contract made in British Columbia before that day.

(2) The rights and interests of a beneficiary for value under a contract that was in force immediately before July 1, 1962 are those provided in Part IV of the Insurance Act then in force.

(3) If the person who would have been entitled to the payment of insurance money if the money had become payable immediately before July 1, 1962 was a preferred beneficiary within the meaning of Part IV of the Insurance Act then in force, the insured may not, except in accordance with that Part,

(a) alter or revoke the designation of a beneficiary, or

(b) assign, exercise rights under or in respect of, surrender or otherwise deal with the contract,

but this subsection does not apply after a time at which the insurance money, if it were then payable, would be payable wholly to a person other than a preferred beneficiary within the meaning of that Part.

Application of this Part to group insurance

40   In the case of a contract of group insurance made with an insurer authorized to transact insurance in British Columbia at the time the contract was made, this Part applies in determining

(a) the rights and status of beneficiaries and personal representatives as recipients of insurance money if the group life insured was resident in British Columbia at the time he or she became insured, and

(b) the rights and obligations of the group life insured if he or she was resident in British Columbia at the time he or she became insured.

Issuance and furnishing of policy

41   (1) An insurer entering into a contract must

(a) issue a policy, and

(b) furnish to the insured the policy and a copy of the insured's application.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the provisions in

(a) the application,

(b) the policy,

(c) any document attached to the policy when issued, and

(d) any amendment to the contract agreed on in writing after the policy is issued

constitute the entire contract.

(3) In the case of a contract made by a fraternal society, the policy, the Act or instrument of incorporation of the society, its constitution, bylaws and rules, and the amendments made to any of them, the application for the contract and the medical statement of the applicant constitute the entire contract.

(4) Except in the case of a contract of group insurance or creditor's group insurance, an insurer, on request, must furnish to the insured or a claimant under the contract a copy of

(a) the entire contract as set out in subsection (2) or (3), as applicable, and

(b) any written statement or other record provided to the insurer as evidence of insurability under the contract.

(5) In the case of a contract of group insurance, an insurer,

(a) on request, must furnish to a group life insured or claimant under the contract a copy of

(i) the group life insured's application, and

(ii) any written statement or other record, not otherwise part of the application, provided to the insurer as evidence of the insurability of the group life insured under the contract, and

(b) on request and reasonable notice, must permit a group life insured or claimant under the contract to examine, and must furnish to that person, a copy of the policy of group insurance.

(6) In the case of a contract of creditor's group insurance, an insurer,

(a) on request, must furnish to a debtor insured or claimant under the contract a copy of

(i) the debtor insured's application, and

(ii) any written statement or other record, not otherwise part of the application, provided to the insurer as evidence of the insurability of the debtor insured under the contract, and

(b) on request and reasonable notice, must permit a debtor insured or claimant under the contract to examine, and must furnish to that person, a copy of the policy of creditor's group insurance.

(7) An insurer may charge a reasonable fee to cover its expenses in furnishing copies of documents under subsection (4), (5) or (6), other than the first copy furnished to each person.

(8) Access to the documents described in subsections (5) (b) and (6) (b) does not extend to

(a) information contained in those documents that would reveal personal information, as defined in the Personal Information Protection Act, about a person without that person's consent, other than information about

(i) the group life insured or debtor insured in respect of whom the claim is made, or

(ii) the person who requests the information, or

(b) information prescribed by regulation.

(9) A claimant's access to documents under subsections (4) to (6) extends only to information that is relevant to

(a) a claim under the contract, or

(b) a denial of such a claim.

Particulars in policy

42   (1) This section does not apply to a contract

(a) of group insurance,

(b) of creditor's group insurance, or

(c) made by a fraternal society.

(2) An insurer must set out in the policy the following:

(a) the name or a sufficient description of the insured and of the person whose life is insured;

(b) the amount, or the method of determining the amount, of the insurance money payable, and the conditions under which it becomes payable;

(c) the amount, or the method of determining the amount, of the premium and the period of grace, if any, within which it may be paid;

(d) whether the contract provides for participation in a distribution of surplus or profits that may be declared by the insurer;

(e) the conditions on which the contract may be reinstated if it lapses;

(f) the options, if any,

(i) of surrendering the contract for cash,

(ii) of obtaining a loan or an advance payment of the insurance money, and

(iii) of obtaining paid up or extended insurance.

(g) the following statement:

Every action or proceeding against an insurer for the recovery of insurance money payable under the contract is absolutely barred unless commenced within the time set out in the Insurance Act.

(3) If a policy contains a provision removing or restricting the right of the insured to designate persons to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable, the front page of the policy must include the following statement in conspicuous bold type:

This policy contains a provision removing or restricting the right of the insured to designate persons to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable.

Particulars in group policy

43   In the case of a contract of group insurance or of creditor's group insurance, an insurer must set out in the policy the following:

(a) the name or a sufficient description of the insured;

(b) the method of determining the persons whose lives are insured;

(c) the amount, or the method of determining the amount, of the insurance money payable, and the conditions under which it becomes payable;

(d) the period of grace, if any, within which the premium may be paid;

(e) whether the contract provides for participation in a distribution of surplus or profits that may be declared by the insurer;

(f) in the case of a contract of group insurance, any provision removing or restricting the right of a group life insured to designate persons to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable;

(g) in the case of a contract of group insurance that replaces another contract of group insurance on some or all of the group life insureds under the replaced contract, whether a designation of a group life insured, a group life insured's personal representative or a beneficiary as a person to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable under the replaced contract applies to the replacing contract;

(h) the following statement:

Every action or proceeding against an insurer for the recovery of insurance money payable under the contract is absolutely barred unless commenced within the time set out in the Insurance Act.

Particulars in group certificate

44   (1) In the case of a contract of group insurance or creditor's group insurance, an insurer must issue, for delivery by the insured to each group life insured or debtor insured, a certificate or other document in which are set out the following:

(a) the name of the insurer and a sufficient identification of the contract;

(b) the amount, or the method of determining the amount, of insurance on

(i) the group life insured and any person whose life is insured under the contract as a person dependent on or related to the group life insured, or

(ii) the debtor insured;

(c) the circumstances in which the insurance terminates and the rights, if any, on termination of the insurance of

(i) the group life insured and any person whose life is insured under the contract as a person dependent on or related to the group life insured, or

(ii) the debtor insured;

(d) in the case of a contract of group insurance that contains a provision removing or restricting the right of the group life insured to designate persons to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable,

(i) the method of determining the persons to whom or for whose benefit the insurance money is or may be payable, and

(ii) the following statement in conspicuous bold type:

This policy contains a provision removing or restricting the right of the group life insured to designate persons to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable;

(e) in the case of a contract of group insurance that replaces another contract of group insurance on some or all of the group life insureds under the replaced contract, whether a designation of a group life insured, a group life insured's personal representative or a beneficiary as a person to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable under the replaced contract applies to the replacing contract;

(f) the rights of the group life insured, the debtor insured or a claimant under the contract to obtain copies of documents under section 41 (5) or (6);

(g) the following statement:

Every action or proceeding against an insurer for the recovery of insurance money payable under the contract is absolutely barred unless commenced within the time set out in the Insurance Act.

(2) This section does not apply to a contract of blanket insurance.

Lack of insurable interest

45   (1) Subject to subsection (2), if at the time a contract would otherwise take effect the insured has no insurable interest, the contract is void.

(2) A contract is not void for lack of insurable interest

(a) if it is a contract of group insurance, or

(b) if the person whose life is insured has consented in writing to the insurance being placed on his or her life.

(3) If the person whose life is insured is under the age of 16 years, consent to insurance being placed on his or her life may be given by one of his or her parents or by a person standing in the place of a parent.

Persons insurable

46   Without restricting the meaning of "insurable interest", a person, in this section called the "primary person", has an insurable interest,

(a) in the case of a primary person who is a natural person, in his or her own life and in the lives of the following:

(i) the primary person's child or grandchild;

(ii) the primary person's spouse;

(iii) a person on whom the primary person is wholly or partly dependent for, or from whom the primary person is receiving, support or education;

(iv) the primary person's employee;

(v) a person in the duration of whose life the primary person has a pecuniary interest, and

(b) in the case of a primary person that is not a natural person, in the lives of the following:

(i) the primary person's director, officer or employee;

(ii) a person in the duration of whose life the primary person has a pecuniary interest.

Termination of contract by court

47   (1) If

(a) a person whose life is insured under a contract is someone other than the insured, and

(b) the person reasonably believes that their life or health might be endangered by the insurance on their life continuing under that contract,

on application of that person, the court may make the orders the court considers just in the circumstances.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the orders that the court may make under subsection (1) include

(a) an order that the insurance on that person's life under the contract be terminated in accordance with the terms of the contract, other than any terms respecting notice of termination, and

(b) an order that the amount of insurance under the contract on that person's life be reduced.

(3) An application under subsection (1) must be made on at least 30 days' notice to the insured, the beneficiary, the insurer and any other person the court considers to have an interest in the contract.

(4) Despite subsection (3), if the court considers it just to do so, the court may dispense with the notice in the case of a person other than

(a) the insurer, or

(b) if the contract is a contract of group insurance or creditor's group insurance, the insured.

(5) An order made under subsection (1) binds any person having an interest in the contract.

When contract takes effect

48   (1) Subject to a provision to the contrary in the application or the policy, a contract does not take effect unless

(a) the policy is delivered to an insured, the insured's assign or agent, or to a beneficiary,

(b) payment of the initial premium is made to the insurer or its agent, and

(c) no change has taken place in the insurability of the life to be insured between the time the application was completed and the time the policy was delivered.

(2) If a policy is issued on the terms applied for and is delivered to an agent of the insurer for unconditional delivery to a person referred to in subsection (1) (a), it is deemed, but not to the prejudice of the insured, to have been delivered to the insured.

Payment of premiums

49   (1) If a cheque or other bill of exchange, or a promissory note or other written promise to pay, is given for the whole or a part of a premium and the cheque, bill of exchange, promissory note or other promise to pay is not honoured according to its tenor, the premium or the part of the premium has not been paid.

(2) If a remittance for or on account of a premium is sent in a registered letter to an insurer and is received by it, the remittance is deemed to have been received at the time of the registration of the letter.

Payment of premiums and grace periods

50   (1) Except in the case of group insurance or creditor's group insurance, an assignee of a contract, a beneficiary or a person acting on behalf of one of them or of the insured may pay any premium that the insured is entitled to pay.

(2) If a premium, other than the initial premium, is not paid at the time it is due, the premium may be paid within a period of grace of

(a) 30 days, or in the case of an industrial contract 28 days, from and excluding the day on which the premium is due, or

(b) the number of days, if any, specified in the contract for payment of an overdue premium,

whichever is the longer period.

(3) If the happening of the event on which the insurance money becomes payable occurs during the period of grace and before the overdue premium is paid, the contract is deemed to be in effect as if the premium had been paid at the time it was due, and, except in the case of group insurance or creditor's group insurance, the amount of the premium may be deducted from the insurance money.

Duty to disclose

51   (1) An applicant for insurance and a person whose life is to be insured must each disclose to the insurer in the application, on a medical examination, if any, and in any written statements or answers furnished as evidence of insurability, every fact within the applicant's or person's knowledge that is material to the insurance and is not so disclosed by the other.

(2) Subject to section 52 and subsection (3) of this section, a failure to disclose, or a misrepresentation of, a fact referred to in subsection (1) renders the contract voidable by the insurer.

(3) A failure to disclose, or a misrepresentation of, a fact referred to in subsection (1) relating to evidence of insurability with respect to an application for

(a) additional coverage under a contract,

(b) an increase in insurance under a contract, or

(c) any other change to insurance after the policy is issued

renders the contract voidable by the insurer, but only in relation to the addition, increase or change.

Failure to disclose

52   (1) This section does not apply to

(a) a misstatement to an insurer of the age of a person whose life is insured, or

(b) insurance under which an insurer, as part of a contract, undertakes to pay insurance money or to provide other benefits in the event the person whose life is insured becomes disabled as a result of bodily injury or disease.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), if a contract, or an addition, increase or change referred to in section 51 (3), has been in effect for 2 years during the lifetime of the person whose life is insured, a failure to disclose, or a misrepresentation of, a fact required to be disclosed by section 51 does not, in the absence of fraud, render the contract voidable.

(3) In the case of a contract of group insurance or creditor's group insurance, a failure to disclose, or a misrepresentation of, a fact required by section 51 to be disclosed in respect of a person whose life is insured under the contract does not render the contract voidable, but

(a) if the failure to disclose or misrepresentation relates to evidence of insurability specifically requested by the insurer at the time of application for the insurance in respect of the person, the insurance in respect of that person is voidable by the insurer, and

(b) if the failure to disclose or misrepresentation relates to evidence of insurability specifically requested by the insurer at the time of application for an addition, increase or change referred to in section 51 (3) in respect of the person, the addition, increase or change in respect of that person is voidable by the insurer,

unless the insurance, addition, increase or change has been in effect for 2 years during the lifetime of that person, in which case the insurance, addition, increase or change is not, in the absence of fraud, voidable.

Nondisclosure by insurer

53   If an insurer fails to disclose or misrepresents a fact material to the insurance, the contract is voidable by the insured, but in the absence of fraud the contract is not by reason of such failure or misrepresentation voidable after the contract has been in effect for 2 years.

Misstatement of age

54   (1) This section does not apply to a contract of group insurance or of creditor's group insurance.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), if the age of a person whose life is insured is misstated to the insurer, the insurance money provided by the contract must be increased or decreased to the amount that would have been provided for the same premium at the correct age.

(3) If a contract limits insurable age and the correct age of the person whose life is insured exceeds that limit at the date of the application, the contract is voidable by the insurer for 5 years after the date the contract takes effect, but not afterwards, and only if

(a) that person is alive, and

(b) the insurer voids the contract within 60 days after it discovers the misstatement of age.

Misstatement of age in group insurance

55   In the case of a contract of group insurance or of creditor's group insurance, a misstatement to the insurer of the age of a person whose life is insured does not of itself render the contract voidable, and the provisions, if any, of the contract with respect to age or misstatement of age apply.

Effect of suicide on contract

56   (1) If a contract contains an undertaking, express or implied, that insurance money will be paid if a person whose life is insured commits suicide, the undertaking is lawful and enforceable.

(2) If a contract provides that in case a person whose life is insured commits suicide within a certain period of time the contract is void or the amount payable under it is reduced, if the contract lapses and is subsequently reinstated on one or more occasions, the period of time begins to run from the date of the latest reinstatement.

Reinstatement of contract

57   (1) This section does not apply to a contract of group insurance or creditor's group insurance or to a contract made by a fraternal society.

(2) If a contract lapses at the end of a period of grace because a premium due at the beginning of the period of grace was not paid, the contract may be reinstated by payment of the overdue premium within a further period of 30 days after the end of the period of grace, but only if the person whose life was insured under the contract is alive at the time payment is made.

(3) If a contract lapses and is not reinstated under subsection (2), the insurer must reinstate it if, within 2 years after the date the contract lapsed, the insured

(a) applies for the reinstatement,

(b) pays to the insurer all overdue premiums and other indebtedness under the contract, together with interest not exceeding the rate determined under section 7 of the Court Order Interest Act, and

(c) produces evidence satisfactory to the insurer of the good health and insurability of the person whose life was insured.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply if the cash surrender value has been paid or an option of taking paid up or extended insurance has been exercised.

(5) Sections 51 and 52 apply, so far as applicable and with the necessary changes, to reinstatement of a contract.

Termination and replacement of group policies

58   (1) If a contract of group insurance, or a benefit provision in a contract of group insurance, under which the insurer undertakes to pay insurance money or provide other benefits if a group life insured becomes disabled as a result of bodily injury or disease is terminated, the insurer continues, as though the contract or benefit provision had remained in full force and effect, to be liable to pay insurance money or provide benefits in respect of a group life insured for liability arising from an accident or disease that occurred before the termination of the contract or benefit provision if the disability is reported to the insurer within the 6 month period following the termination or a longer continuous period specified in the contract.

(2) Despite subsection (1), an insurer does not remain liable under a contract or benefit provision described in that subsection to pay insurance money or provide a benefit for the recurrence of a disability after both of the following occur:

(a) the termination of the contract or benefit provision;

(b) a continuous period of 6 months, or any longer period provided in the contract, during which the group life insured was not disabled.

(3) An insurer that is liable under subsection (1) to pay insurance money or provide a benefit as a result of the disability of a group life insured is not liable to pay the insurance money or provide the benefit for any period longer than the portion remaining, at the date the disability began, of the maximum period provided under the contract for the payment of insurance money or the provision of a benefit in respect of a disability of the group life insured.

(4) If a contract of group insurance, in this subsection called the "replacement contract", is entered into within 31 days after the termination of another contract of group insurance, in this subsection called the "other contract", and that replacement contract insures some or all of the same group life insureds as the other contract,

(a) the replacement contract is deemed to provide that any person who was insured under the other contract at the time of its termination is insured under the replacement contract from and after the termination of the other contract if

(i) the insurance on that person under the other contract terminated by reason only of the termination of the other contract, and

(ii) the person is a member of a class eligible for insurance under the replacement contract, and

(b) no person who was insured under the other contract at the time of its termination may be excluded from eligibility under the replacement contract by reason only of not being actively at work on the effective date of the replacement contract,

and, despite subsection (1), if the replacement contract provides that insurance money or other benefits to be paid or provided under subsection (1) by the insurer of the other contract are to be paid instead under the replacement contract, the insurer of the other contract is not liable to pay that insurance money or provide those benefits.

Designation of beneficiary

59   (1) Subject to subsection (4), an insured may in a contract or by a declaration designate the insured, the insured's personal representative or a beneficiary as a person to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable.

(2) Subject to section 60, the insured may alter or revoke the designation by a declaration.

(3) A designation in favour of the "heirs", "next of kin" or "estate" of an insured, or the use of words having similar meaning in a designation, is deemed to be a designation of the personal representative of the insured.

(4) Subject to the regulations, an insurer may restrict or exclude in a contract the right of an insured to designate persons to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable.

(5) A contract of group insurance replacing another contract of group insurance on some or all of the group life insureds under the replaced contract may provide that a designation applicable to the replaced contract of a group life insured, a group life insured's personal representative or a beneficiary as a person to whom or for whose benefit insurance money is to be payable is deemed to apply to the replacing contract.

(6) If a contract of group insurance replacing another contract of group insurance provides that a designation referred to in subsection (5) is deemed to apply to the replacing contract,

(a) each certificate in respect of the replacing contract must indicate that the designation under the replaced contract has been carried forward and that the group life insured should review the existing designation to ensure it reflects the group life insured's current intentions, and

(b) as between the insurer under the replacing contract and a claimant under that contract, that insurer is liable to the claimant for any errors or omissions by the previous insurer in respect of the recording of the designation carried forward under the replacing contract.

(7) If a beneficiary becomes entitled to insurance money and all or part of the insurance money remains with the insurer under a settlement option provided for in the contract or permitted by the insurer, that portion of the insurance money remaining with the insurer is deemed to be insurance money held under a contract on the life of the beneficiary, and, subject to the provisions of the settlement option, the beneficiary has the rights and interests of an insured with respect to the insurance money.

Irrevocable designation of beneficiary

60   (1) An insured may in a contract or by a declaration, other than a declaration that is part of a will, filed with the insurer at its head or principal office in Canada during the lifetime of the person whose life is insured, designate a beneficiary irrevocably, and in that event the insured, while the beneficiary is living, may not alter or revoke the designation without the consent of the beneficiary, and the insurance money is not subject to the control of the insured or the claims of the insured's creditors and does not form part of the insured's estate.

(2) If the insured purports to designate a beneficiary irrevocably in a will or in a declaration that is not filed as provided in subsection (1), the designation has the same effect as if the insured had not purported to make it irrevocable.

Designation in will

61   (1) A designation in an instrument purporting to be a will is not ineffective by reason only of the fact that the instrument is invalid as a will, or that the designation is invalid as a bequest under the will.

(2) Despite the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, a designation in a will is of no effect against a designation made later than the making of the will.

(3) If a designation is contained in a will and subsequently the will is revoked by operation of law or otherwise, the designation is revoked.

(4) If a designation is contained in an instrument that purports to be a will and the instrument, if it were valid as a will, would be revoked by operation of law or otherwise, the designation is revoked.

Trustee for beneficiary

62   (1) An insured may in a contract or by a declaration appoint a trustee for a beneficiary and may alter or revoke the appointment by a declaration.

(2) A payment made by an insurer to the trustee for a beneficiary discharges the insurer to the extent of the payment.

Predeceased or disclaiming beneficiary

63   (1) If a beneficiary predeceases the person whose life is insured, and no disposition of the share of the deceased beneficiary in the insurance money is provided for in the contract or by a declaration, the share is payable

(a) to the surviving beneficiary,

(b) if there is more than one surviving beneficiary, to the surviving beneficiaries in equal shares, or

(c) if there is no surviving beneficiary, to the insured or the insured's personal representative.

(2) If 2 or more beneficiaries are designated otherwise than alternatively, but no division of the insurance money is made, the insurance money is payable to them in equal shares.

(3) A beneficiary may disclaim the beneficiary's right to insurance money by filing notice in writing with the insurer at its head or principal office in Canada.

(4) A notice of disclaimer filed under subsection (3) is irrevocable.

(5) Subsection (1) applies in the case of a disclaiming beneficiary or in the case of a beneficiary determined by a court to be disentitled to insurance money as if the disclaiming or disentitled beneficiary predeceased the person whose life is insured.

Enforcement of payment by beneficiary or trustee

64   A beneficiary may enforce in the beneficiary's own name and for the beneficiary's own benefit, and a trustee appointed under section 62 may enforce as trustee, the payment of insurance money made payable to the beneficiary or trustee in the contract or by a declaration and in accordance with the provisions of it, but the insurer may set up any defence that it could have set up against the insured or the insured's personal representative.

Insurance money exempt from seizure

65   (1) If a beneficiary is designated, the insurance money, from the time of the happening of the event on which the insurance money becomes payable, is not part of the estate of the insured and is not subject to the claims of the creditors of the insured.

(2) While there is in effect a designation in favour of any one or more of a spouse, child, grandchild or parent of a person whose life is insured, the insurance money and the rights and interests of the insured in the insurance money and in the contract are exempt from execution or seizure.

Assignment of insurance

66   (1) If a beneficiary

(a) is not designated irrevocably, or

(b) is designated irrevocably but has attained the age of 19 years and consents,

the insured may assign, exercise rights under or in respect of, surrender or otherwise deal with the contract as provided in it or in this Part, or as may be agreed on with the insurer.

(2) Despite section 60 (1), if a beneficiary is designated irrevocably and has not consented as described in subsection (l) (b) of this section, the insured may exercise any rights in respect of the contract that are prescribed by regulation.

(3) Subject to the terms of a consent under subsection (l) (b) or a court order under subsection (4), if there is an irrevocable designation of a beneficiary under a contract, a person acquiring an interest in the contract takes that interest subject to the rights of that beneficiary.

(4) When a beneficiary who is designated irrevocably is unable to provide consent under subsection (1) (b) because of legal incapacity, an insured may apply to the court for an order permitting the insured to deal with the contract without that consent.

(5) The court may grant an order under subsection (4) on any notice and terms it considers just.

Entitlement to dividends

67   (1) Despite the irrevocable designation of a beneficiary, the insured is entitled before his or her death to the dividends or bonuses declared on a contract, unless the contract provides otherwise.

(2) Unless the insured directs otherwise, the insurer may apply the dividends or bonuses declared on the contract for the purpose of keeping the contract in force.

Transfer of insured's rights

68   (1) Despite the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, if, in a contract or declaration, it is provided that a person named in the contract or declaration has, on the death of the insured, the rights and interests of the insured in the contract,

(a) the rights and interests of the insured in the contract do not, on the death of the insured, form part of the insured's estate, and

(b) on the death of the insured, the person named in the contract or declaration has the rights and interests given to the insured by the contract and by this Part and is deemed to be the insured.

(2) If the contract or declaration provides that 2 or more persons named in the contract or in the declaration, on the death of the insured, have successively on the death of each of them the rights and interests of the insured in the contract, this section applies successively, so far as applicable and with the necessary changes, to each of those persons and their rights and interests in the contract.

(3) Despite a nomination made under this section, the insured may, before his or her death,

(a) assign, exercise rights under or in respect of, surrender or otherwise deal with the contract as if the nomination had not been made, and

(b) subject to the terms of the contract, alter or revoke the nomination by declaration.

Effect of assignment

69   (1) If an assignee of a contract gives notice in writing of the assignment to the insurer at its head or principal office in Canada, he or she has priority of interest as against

(a) an assignee other than one who gave notice earlier to the insurer of an assignment in the manner provided for in this subsection, and

(b) a beneficiary other than one designated irrevocably as provided for in section 60 before the assignee gave notice to the insurer of the assignment in the manner provided for in this subsection.

(2) If a contract is assigned as security, the rights of a beneficiary under the contract are affected only to the extent necessary to give effect to the rights and interests of the assignee.

(3) If a contract is assigned unconditionally and otherwise than as security, the assignee has all the rights and interests given to the insured by the contract and by this Part and is deemed to be the insured.

(4) Unless the document by which a contract is assigned specifies otherwise, an assignment described in subsection (3) made on or after the date this section comes into force revokes

(a) a designation of a beneficiary made before or after that date and not made irrevocably, and

(b) a nomination referred to in section 68 (1) made before or after that date.

(5) A contract may provide that the rights or interests of the insured or, in the case of a contract of group insurance or creditor's group insurance, of the group life insured or debtor insured, as applicable, are not assignable.

Group life insured may enforce rights

70   A group life insured may in his or her own name enforce a right given to him or her under a contract, subject to any defence available to the insurer against him or her or against the insured.

Debtor insured may enforce rights

71   (1) A debtor insured, or a debtor who is jointly liable for the debt with the debtor insured, may enforce in his or her own name the creditor's rights in respect of a claim arising in relation to that debtor insured, subject to any defence available to the insurer against the creditor or that debtor insured.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), if an insurer pays insurance money in respect of a claim under subsection (1), the insurer must pay the insurance money to the creditor.

(3) If the debtor insured provides evidence satisfactory to the insurer that the insurance money exceeds the debt then owing to the creditor, the insurer may pay the excess directly to that debtor insured.

Capacity of minors

72   Except in respect of his or her rights as beneficiary, a minor who has reached the age of 16 years has the capacity of a person of the age of 19 years

(a) to make an enforceable contract, and

(b) in respect of a contract.

Proof of claim

73   If an insurer receives sufficient evidence of

(a) the happening of the event on which insurance money becomes payable,

(b) the age of the person whose life is insured,

(c) the right of the claimant to receive payment, and

(d) the name and age of the beneficiary, if there is a beneficiary,

it must, within 30 days after receiving the evidence, pay the insurance money to the person entitled to it.

Payment of insurance money

74   (1) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), insurance money is payable in British Columbia.

(2) Unless a contract otherwise provides, a reference in it to dollars means Canadian dollars, whether the contract by its terms provides for payment in Canada or elsewhere.

(3) If a person entitled to receive insurance money is not resident in British Columbia, the insurer may pay the insurance money to that person or to any other person who is entitled to receive it on the person's behalf by the law of the jurisdiction in which the payee resides, and the payment discharges the insurer to the extent of the amount paid.

(4) In the case of a contract of group insurance, insurance money is payable in the province or territory of Canada in which the group life insured was resident at the time he or she became insured.

(5) If insurance money is payable under a contract to a deceased person who was not resident in British Columbia at the date of their death or to that person's personal representative, the insurer may pay the insurance money to the deceased person's personal representative as appointed under the law of the jurisdiction in which the person was resident at the date of their death, and the payment discharges the insurer to the extent of the amount paid.

Action in British Columbia

75   Regardless of the place where a contract was made, a claimant who is resident in British Columbia may bring an action in British Columbia if the insurer was authorized to transact insurance in British Columbia at the time the contract was made or is so authorized at the time the action is brought.

Limitation of actions

76   (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (5), an action or proceeding against an insurer for the recovery of insurance money payable in the event of a person's death must be commenced not later than the earlier of

(a) 2 years after the date evidence is furnished under section 73, and

(b) 6 years after the date of the death.

(2) Subject to subsection (5), if a declaration has been made under the Presumption of Death Act, an action or proceeding referred to in subsection (1) must be commenced not later than 2 years after the date of the declaration.

(3) Subject to subsection (5), an action or proceeding against an insurer for the recovery of insurance money not referred to in subsection (1) must be commenced not later than 2 years after the date the claimant knew or ought to have known of the first instance of the loss or occurrence giving rise to the claim for insurance money.

(4) If insurance money is not payable unless a loss or occurrence continues for a period of time specified in the contract, the date of the first instance of the loss or occurrence for the purposes of subsection (3) is deemed to be the first day after the end of that period.

(5) An action or proceeding against an insurer for the recovery of insurance money payable on a periodic basis must be commenced not later than the later of

(a) the last day of the applicable period under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) for commencing an action or proceeding, and

(b) if insurance money was paid, 2 years after the date the next payment would have been payable had the insurer continued to make periodic payments.

Documents affecting right to insurance money

77   (1) Until an insurer receives at its head or principal office in Canada an instrument or an order of a court affecting the right to receive insurance money, or a notarial copy, or a copy verified by statutory declaration, of the instrument or order, it may make payment of the insurance money and is discharged to the extent of the amount paid as if there were no instrument or order.

(2) Subsection (1) does not affect the rights or interests of any person other than the insurer.

Declaration as to sufficiency of proof

78   If an insurer admits the validity of the insurance but does not admit the sufficiency of the evidence required by section 73 and there is no other question in issue except a question under section 3 of the Presumption of Death Act, the insurer or the claimant may, before or after action is brought and on at least 30 days' notice, apply to the court for a declaration as to the sufficiency of the evidence furnished, and the court may make the declaration or may direct what further evidence must be furnished, and on it being furnished may make the declaration or, in special circumstances, may dispense with further evidence.

Court may make order for payment

79   (1) On making a declaration under section 78 or an order under the Presumption of Death Act, the court may make an order respecting the payment of the insurance money and respecting costs it considers just, and a declaration or direction or order made under this subsection is binding on the applicant and on all persons to whom notice of the application has been given.

(2) A payment made under an order under subsection (1) discharges the insurer to the extent of the amount paid.

Application to court operates as stay of proceedings

80   Unless the court otherwise orders, an application made under section 78 or section 3 of the Presumption of Death Act operates as a stay of any pending action with respect to the insurance money.

Powers of court

81   If the court finds that the evidence furnished under section 73 is not sufficient or that a presumption of death is not established under the Presumption of Death Act, it may order that the matters in issue be decided in an action brought or to be brought, or may make such other order as it considers just respecting further evidence to be furnished by the claimant, publication of advertisements, further inquiry or any other matter or respecting costs.

Payment into court

82   (1) If an insurer admits liability for insurance money or any part of it and it appears to the insurer that

(a) there are adverse claimants,

(b) there is no person capable of giving and authorized to give a valid discharge who is willing to do so,

(c) the insurance money has become unclaimed property under the Unclaimed Property Act,

(d) there is no person entitled to the insurance money, or

(e) the person to whom the insurance money is payable would be disentitled on public policy or other grounds,

the insurer may, without notice to any person but subject to subsection (2), apply to the court for an order for payment of the money into court.

(2) An application to the court under this section may not be made until

(a) in a case to which subsection (1) (a), (b) (d) or (e) applies, 30 days from the date of the happening of the event on which the insurance money became payable, or

(b) in a case to which subsection (1) (c) applies, 30 days after the insurance money became unclaimed property under the Unclaimed Property Act.

(3) On application under this section, the court may, on notice, if any, as it thinks necessary, make an order for payment of the insurance money into court.

(4) On payment into court of insurance money referred to in subsection (1) (c), Part 3 of the Unclaimed Property Act ceases to apply to that money.

(5) A payment made under an order under this section discharges the insurer to the extent of the payment.

Simultaneous deaths

83   Unless a contract or a declaration provides otherwise, if the person whose life is insured and a beneficiary die at the same time or in circumstances rendering it uncertain which of them survived the other, the insurance money is payable as if the beneficiary had predeceased the person whose life is insured.

Insurance money payable in instalments

84   (1) In this section, "instalments" includes insurance money held by the insurer under section 85.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), if insurance money is payable in instalments and a contract, or an instrument signed by the insured and delivered to the insurer, provides that a beneficiary does not have the right to commute the instalments or to alienate or assign the beneficiary's interest in the instalments, the insurer must not, unless the insured subsequently directs otherwise in writing, commute the instalments or pay them to any person other than the beneficiary, and the instalments are not, in the hands of the insurer, subject to any legal process, except an action to recover the value of necessaries supplied to the beneficiary or the beneficiary's minor children.

(3) A court may, on the application of a beneficiary on at least 10 days' notice, declare that in view of special circumstances

(a) the insurer may, with the consent of the beneficiary, commute instalments of insurance money, or

(b) the beneficiary may alienate or assign his or her interest in the insurance money.

(4) After the death of the beneficiary, his or her personal representative may, with the consent of the insurer, commute any instalments of insurance money payable to the beneficiary.

Insurer holding insurance money

85   (1) An insurer may hold insurance money

(a) subject to the order of an insured or a beneficiary, or

(b) on trusts or other agreements for the benefit of the insured or the beneficiary,

as provided in the contract, by an agreement in writing to which it is a party, or by a declaration, with interest at a rate agreed on in it or, if no rate is agreed on, at the rate declared by the insurer in respect of insurance money held by it.

(2) The insurer is not bound to hold insurance money as provided in subsection (1) under the terms of a declaration to which it has not agreed in writing.

Court may order payment

86   If an insurer does not, within 30 days after receipt of the evidence required by section 73, pay the insurance money to some person competent to receive it or into court, the court may, on application of any person, order that the insurance money or any part of it be paid into court, or may make such other order as to the distribution of the money as it considers just, and payment made in accordance with the order discharges the insurer to the extent of the amount paid.

Costs

87   The court may fix without taxation the costs incurred in connection with an application or order made under section 82 or 86, and may order them to be paid out of the insurance money or by the insurer or the applicant, or otherwise as it considers just.

Payment of insurance money for minors

88   (1) If an insurer admits liability for insurance money payable to a minor or for insurance money payable to a trustee for a beneficiary who is a minor, the insurer must, within 30 days after receiving the evidence referred to in section 73,

(a) in the case of money payable to a minor, other than a minor referred to in paragraph (b), pay the money in trust for the minor to

(i) a trustee for the minor appointed in relation to that money by the insured or group life insured in a contract or by a declaration, or

(ii) if no trustee is appointed for the minor in relation to that money, the Public Guardian and Trustee,

(b) in the case of money payable to a minor referred to in subsection (4), pay the money to the minor, and

(c) in the case of money payable to a trustee for a beneficiary who is a minor, pay the money to the trustee.

(2) An insurer who makes a payment under subsection (1) (a) (i) or (c) must, within 30 days after the date of payment, give written notice to the Public Guardian and Trustee stating the name and address of the minor, the name and address of the trustee and the amount of the payment.

(3) Payment of the insurance money referred to in subsection (1) discharges the insurer if the payment is made in accordance with subsection (1).

(4) A beneficiary who has reached the age of 18 years has the capacity of a person who has reached the age of 19 years for the purposes of receiving insurance money payable to the minor and giving a discharge for it.

Payment to representative of beneficiary

89   Despite section 88, if it appears to an insurer that a representative of a beneficiary who is a minor or otherwise under a legal disability may accept payments on behalf of the beneficiary under the law of the jurisdiction in which the beneficiary resides, the insurer may make payment to the representative, and the payment discharges the insurer to the extent of the amount paid.

Presumption against agency

90   An officer, agent or employee of an insurer, or a person soliciting insurance whether or not an agent of the insurer, must not be considered to be the agent of the insured, person whose life is insured, group life insured or debtor insured, to that person's prejudice, in respect of any question arising out of a contract.

Insurer giving information

91   An insurer does not incur any liability for any default, error or omission in giving or withholding information as to any notice or instrument that it has received and that affects the insurance money.

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