TORONTO, March 8 – Transamerica Life Canada has completed a preliminary review of today’s
Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Oldfield and Goulet cases.
“While we are disappointed with the outcome,”
said Gordon Murphy, Legal Counsel for Transamerica Life Canada “we respect the
decision of the Supreme Court of Canada.”
In the case of Oldfield vs. Transamerica Life Canada, the
respondent’s husband died while carrying 30 cocaine-filled condoms in his stomach, when
one burst and caused a fatal heart attack. In the case of Goulet vs. Transamerica Life
Canada, the respondent’s husband died when a bomb he was attempting to plant in a car
exploded at Dorval Airport. In both instances, the policies in question were life
insurance policies, and not accidental death and dismemberment policies.
The parties had asked the Court to decide whether, as a
matter of public policy, a person should be allowed to insure against his own criminal act.
The Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision this
morning, indicating that public policy, in both cases, would not bar the rights of an
innocent beneficiary to obtain proceeds of a life insurance policy, regardless of the
criminal activities associated with the insured’s death.
The Court maintained that, in order to successfully deny
payment, the life insurance policy should have contained a clause specifically saying it
was not required to pay should the insured die as a result of committing a criminal act.
Since this decision may have implications for the entire
life insurance industry, we will consult with our industry association, the CLHIA
(Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association).
Transamerica Life Canada is the market leader in the sale
of individual life insurance and segregated funds. Through a national network of 18,000
independent advisors, Transamerica Life Canada helps Canadians meet their financial goals
and preserve their wealth through innovative financial products and services.
Transamerica Life Canada is a member of the AEGON Group,
one of the world’s largest insurers. AEGON N.V. and Transamerica Life Canada have
consistently received strong financial ratings from Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and A.M.
Best Company. In 2000, Transamerica Life Canada earned more than $570 million in life
insurance premium income and recorded over $8 billion in total assets under management.