Advice for Owners and Occupiers in Casualty Loss and Liability Claims

If you are having problems with your insurance company on a claim covered under a homeowners or occupiers policy, contact Murphy Battista LLP for a free consultation to discuss effective ways to maximize your chances of receiving full coverage.

Our law firm is known throughout B.C. and Western Canada for its record of success with the resolution of disputed insurance claims on behalf of motorists, individuals, families and homeowners. We have decades of experience dealing with BC insurance law and a reputation for investigating and presenting the facts on behalf of clients in ways that make the decisive difference on disputed claims.

Murphy Battista acts for property owners and occupiers on disputes that are likely to arise under homeowners and occupiers insurance policies including first-party loss claims and third-party liability claims.

Representation in Homeowners Insurance Loss Disputes

Examples of the kinds of disputes that can arise when you need coverage for a loss include denial of coverage under a condition or exclusion in your insurance policy, the insurer’s refusal to pay the full value of your claim, and an insurer’s eagerness to cry fraud when the size of the claim or the financial circumstances of the insured arouse suspicion.

Our homeowners’ insurance lawyers help people protect and enforce their rights to insurance coverage in a variety of situations, particularly after the initial denial of a claim for:

  • Fire losses
  • Theft or burglary losses
  • Flood and water damage claims
  • Damage caused by wind, ice, snow or hail storms
  • Damage caused by landslide or unstable soils

Murphy Battista’s third-party liability insurance practice serves the needs of homeowners who depend on their coverage to protect them when someone else sues for damages due to negligence. We work to hold the insurer to its duties of defence and indemnification. In other words, the insurer must cover the costs of your legal defence on a covered claim and must pay whatever liability is proved against you under the policy.

BC Fire and Theft Insurance Lawyers

To learn more about our law firm’s experience with the analysis and pursuit of homeowners’ rights under casualty and liability insurance policies, contact us for a free consultation.


Punitive damages in the context of a home insurance claim following a residential fire

May 18, 2022

Case comment on Lambright v. Sonnet Insurance Company, 2022 BCSC 709 In Lambright, Justice Milman considered an award for punitive damages in the context of a home insurance claim following a residential fire. This case highlights the nature of the duty of good faith that insurance companies must fulfill as…

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Homeowner’s Insurance – Did You Get What You Paid For?

October 7, 2021

Most homeowners know that they need insurance to protect their most important asset – their home. However, most don’t know all the ins-and-outs of insurance. They rely on their insurance broker to help them with the process. This includes determining what kind of coverage they need and what potential gaps…

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Residential and Business Loss Insurance Claims: What You Need to Know and How a Lawyer can Help

July 7, 2021

The number one thing to understand about residential and business loss insurance policies is that, as the insured, it is YOUR responsibility to prove your losses. In other words, you should not rely on your insurance company or a contractor to prove your claim. Further, it is up to you…

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Insurance Disputes: What are household belongings worth?

November 10, 2014

People buy home or tenants insurance so they are covered if the unexpected happens. But even if damage is covered by insurance, will you and your insurance company be able to agree on the value of lost items and the appropriate cost of repairs? Today CBC’s Go Public reported about…

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Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.

Kevin Gourlay acted for two owners of a rental property in Maple Ridge. They thought they were properly insured but when a fire happened, they were denied coverage by their insurer because the home was between tenants and the policy said they had no coverage while the home was “vacant.” The plaintiffs brought a claim against their insurance broker for failing to advise them of the potential gaps in their coverage. The Court concluded that the broker was negligent and was the sole cause of the lack of coverage.

In this appeal, Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay acted for two homeowners that were denied coverage by their insurance company, Wawanesa, after their house was destroyed by a furnace explosion. Wawanesa took the position that they were not entitled to coverage because the home had been “vacant” for more than 30 days and because they had not notified Wawanesa of a “material change” in circumstances. The homeowners lost at trial with the trial judge upholding Wawanesa’s denial of coverage. Scott and Kevin took the file over after trial and were successful in having the Court of Appeal reverse the trial judge’s finding on the basis of a 1932 Supreme Court of Canada decision that had not been given to the trial judge.


Hao C

We had a flooding in our building, everything about it is frustrating. In order to untangle the situation a bit better, we sourced help from this firm. Brandon Souza was very helpful. We hope we will never experience this kind of mess again, but if we do, we know who to talk to.

Varda Zigdon

Thank you Brandon Souza for taking the time to understand, to guide and to give me the best possible advice. You are an incredible lawyer who came highly recommended by a family member and who knows his profession well. For those of you who need a lawyer with a back bone to deal with homeowner insurance or any insurance, Brandon Souza will take care of your case with strength, professionalism and integrity. Thank you Brandon!

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