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Case details

Dorsey McPhee (Appellant) v Colina Insurance Ltd (Respondent) (Bahamas)

Case ID: JCPC 2021/0106

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Case summary

Issue

(i) Was the Respondent contractually entitled to increase the GCOI from the second year of the Policy?
(ii) Was the Respondent entitled to lapse and terminate the policy on Sunday 7 September 2014, the date set out in the Notice of Pending Cancellation dated 18 August 2014?
(iii) If the Account Value was, in fact, insufficient to meet the Monthly Deductions at the relevant point in time, was the correct lapse date in fact 8 September 2014, such that the quarterly premium payment tendered by the Appellant on 8 September 2014 was on time?

Facts

The Appellant held a life insurance policy with the Respondent from 1 January 2004 (the Policy). The Policy terms specified that premiums were to be paid quarterly into an investment account, and provided that monthly deductions would be taken from the investment account, including to meet the “Guaranteed Cost of Insurance” (GCOI). The Respondent raised the GCOI each year per B$1,000 of insurance covered. The Appellant was late paying the premium in September 2014, and the Respondent terminated the Policy. On 2 December 2014, the Appellant brought proceedings alleging that the Respondent was not entitled to increase the GCOI in the way it purported to do, and further the Respondent was not entitled to lapse the Policy on 7 September 2014. The Appellant’s claim was dismissed at first instance, and on appeal to the Court of Appeal. The Appellant now appeals as of right to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Dorsey McPhee

Respondent(s)

Colina Insurance Ltd

Appeal

Justices

Lord Hodge, Lord Leggatt, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose, Lord Woolman (Scotland)

Hearing start date

6 October 2022

Hearing finish date

6 October 2022