Ontario: It’s still a two-year limitation period for IRB claims


In Bonilla v. Preszler,  the appellant argued that the respondent’s termination notice for her Income Replacement Benefits was not clear and unequivocal and that the applicable limitation period was “rolling”.  This was a futile position and the Court of Appeal rejected it.

[10]      It is well established in this court’s case law that the limitation period is triggered by a single event, which is the refusal of an insurer to pay the IRB claimed: see e.g. Bonaccorso v. Optimum Insurance Company Inc., 2016 ONCA 34 (CanLII), 129 O.R. (3d) 544 and Sietzema v. Economical Mutual Insurance Company, 2014 ONCA 111 (CanLII), 118 O.R. (3d) 713. The appellant was informed on February 4, 2003 that she would not receive IRB after February 27, 2003. Even taking the later of these two dates, February 27, 2003, as the date of the refusal, the two-year limitation period expired February 27, 2005. The appellant’s action is several years late.

[11]      The appellant submits that this court’s prior cases are either distinguishable or are wrongly decided and offers several arguments in support. She submits that the limitation period covers only the amount of a benefit claimed, and not the nature of the benefit; that the cause of action for IRB is an “entitlement to indemnification”; that the amount claimed is limited to an amount accrued or crystallized, rather than future benefits; and that the common law discoverability rule applies.

[12]      We do not accept any of these arguments. In our view the operation of the limitation period under the legislation is clear and straightforward. It is well settled in the case law of this court, and it would be inappropriate for a three-judge panel of the court to overrule a prior decision of the court in any event. We note that the appellant requested, and was denied, a five-judge panel for this appeal.