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Limitation and notice periods for insurance claims in British Columbia

This book was written by Michael Dew, a Vancouver lawyer who practices civil litigation, including representing persons who have been denied coverage under property insurance policies, or liability insurance policies. If you have been denied insurance coverage and require assistance with making a claim against your insurer call Michael at 604 895 3160.
Notice periods and limitation periods are two types of time limits that apply to insurance claims in British Columbia.
A “notice period” is a deadline by which the claimant must send a letter to the insurance company giving notice that the claimant intends to make a claim. A “limitation period” is a deadline by which a court action must be started. Failing to commence a court action before a limitation period is generally prevents any claim being made.
It is critically important to comply with all notice and limitation periods as failure to do so may result in the right to claim being lost entirely. Generally, it is no excuse for missing a notice or limitation period for the claimant to say that he or she did not know about the notice or limitation period.
Information is provided below about notice an limitation periods that apply to certain types of insurance claims. The information does not apply to British Columbia motor vehicle accident or insurance claims; those types of claims are governed by special legislation pertaining to motor vehicle insurance. See  for information about those types of claims.