What are punitive damages and how can I include them when I sue my insurer?
To sue for punitive damages is to seek a penalty that an insurance company must pay under court order when the insurance company has acted with blatant disregard for the validity of a claim. Awards for punitive damages are meant to send a message to the insurance company to alter its ways. Still, the Supreme Court of Canada has severely limited cases where the option of suing for punitive damages is available. Claims for mental distress or aggravated damages can also be made when the courts will consider whether a claimant has been forced to cash in RRSP's or to sell their home. Insurance companies almost never agree to compensate for such damages in a negotiated settlement. They generally fight such claims relentlessly.
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