This was a motion by the insureds to determine whether their home was insured by the insurer when it was destroyed by fire. Prior to the fire, the insurer wrote to the insureds to advise them that the policy would not be renewed (the renewal date was 8 days before the fire). The insureds argued the insurer was not entitled to terminate the policy as it did. The Court found the termination was valid. A plain reading of the termination clause of the insurance policy indicated that neither the insurer nor the insured must give any reason for termination of the policy.

Merei v. State Farm Fire Casualty Co., [2014] O.J. No. 2434, May 15, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, T.J. Carey J.

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The insurer denied coverage for water damage to the insured’s basement because it was caused by “continuous or repeated seepage”, which was an excluded risk. The court found that the insurer was incorrect in determining this to have been the cause of the water damage, and held that the exclusion did not apply to the loss. The court did not award punitive damages because the conduct of the insurer in denying the claim was only misguided and could not be descibed as malicious, oppressive or highanded.

Moffat v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. [2014] O.J. No. 2124, April 25, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, B. Babcock Deputy J.

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Pollution exclusion in homeowner's policy may not apply to circumstances where sound insulation releases noxious gas that renders the home uninhabitable.

Robinson v. Primmum Insurance Co., [2014] O.J. No. 487, January 31, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, A.D. Grace J.

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Application by insurer for declaration that homeowner's policy which excluded the cost of making good faulty material or workmanship did not apply to loss in circumstances where statement of claim alleged faulty workmanship was denied on basis that the cause of loss might not be limited to faulty workmanship.

Hallett v. Fitzpatrick, [2013] N.J. No. 438, December 19, 2013, Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, C. Thompson J.

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In Willoughby v. Pilot Insurance Co., the insurer provided home insurance on the insureds’ home, which was destroyed by fire. The insurance policy included a Guaranteed Replacement Cost on Buildings (“GRC”) endorsement. After the fire, the insureds decided not to rebuild or repair the fire-damaged home. Instead, they purchased a home in another location and moved there. In light of the insureds’ decision to relocate instead of rebuilding, the insurer took the position that they were not entitled to payment under the GRC endorsement but only basic fire loss coverage. The insureds commenced an action against the insurer and sought summary judgment.

Willoughby v. Pilot Insurance Co., a Division of Aviva Canada Inc., [2014] O.J. No. 45, January 7, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, D.G. Stinson J.

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The insurer’s appeal from a decision that the insurer had a duty to defend a third party claim issued against the insureds in a personal injury action was dismissed. The third party claim fell within the general coverage provision, and the wording of the household exclusion clause did not apply to exclude an indirect, third party claim from coverage.

Bawden v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co., [2013] O.J. No. 5385, November 26, 2013, Ontario Court of Appeal, D.H. Doherty, S.T. Goudge and P.D. Lauwers JJ.A.

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On an application for summary judgment it was held that the plaintiff’s 19 year old girlfriend was not a person under the age of 21 in his care and she was therefore not an unnamed insured under the policy. An exclusion for loss or damage resulting from the criminal or intentional act of any person insured by the policy therefore did not apply.

Ryan v. Canadian Farm Insurance Corp., [2013] M.J. No. 391, November 8, 2013, Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, Master J.M. Cooper.

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The insured under a policy of homeowner’s insurance was found to be entitled to a defence in a tort action in which he was named as a defendant in his personal capacity and in his capacity as an officer and director of several companies also named as defendants in the tort action. It was held that the allegations against the insured were broad enough to include conduct outside the insured’s corporate duties and for which the corporate defendants may not be liable.

Martin v. Royal & Sun Alliance Co. of Canada, [2013] B.C.J. No. 2468, November 12, 2013, British Columbia Supreme Court, N.H. Smith J.

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Insured under home insurance policy is not required to give insurer notice of vacancy or reduced occupancy for a period of less than 30 days.

Peebles v. The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, [2013] B.C.J. No. 2389, November 1, 2013, Supreme Court of British Columbia, Newbury J., Hall J. and Chiasson J.

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An insurer cannot deny coverage on the basis of an insured's failure to notify of a material change in the risk where the insurer has knowledge of the change in the risk, even if the knowledge is imputed to the insurer by way of agency.

Mah v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co., [2013] A.J. No. 1164, October 31, 2013, Alberta Court of Appeal, J.E.L. Cote, J. Watson and B.K. O'Ferrall JJ. A.

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