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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A dispute arose over the application of an indemnity clause in a contract between a golf tournament host and golf course owner. The plaintiff was injured in a golf cart accident. When the indemnity clause was read as a whole, it obliged the golf tournament host to indemnify the golf course owner for the golf course owner's own negligence.

Neely v. MacDonald, [2014] O.J. No. 2285, May 12, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, F.L. Myers J.

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This was a summary trial pursuant to s. 530 of the Insurance Act for judgment against the defendant's insurer. The insurer argued the farm policy was void ab initio because of non‑disclosure of a material fact or, in the alternative, the "business pursuits" exclusion clause applied. The Court dismissed the plaintiff's action because the "business pursuits" exclusion excluded coverage. The plaintiff was injured in the course of a horse riding lesson that was a "business pursuit" of the defendant insured.

Burch v. Intact Insurance Co., [2014] A.J. No. 540, May 20, 2014, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, S.J. Greckol J.

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A release signed by a plaintiff participating in a zip line activity did not defeat the plaintiff's claim for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision on the defendant zip line operator's bus travelling from the zipline area. The release was contrary to public policy, which did not allow an owner/operator of a motor vehicle to contract out of liability for damages for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

Niedermeyer v. Charlton [2014] B.C.J. No. 763, April 30, 2014, British Columbia Court of Appeal, E.A. Bennett, N.J. Garson, and C.E. Hinkson JJ.A.

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A plaintiff’s covenant to insure the defendant signifies the assumption of risk of damage for which it sues. This covenant barred the plaintiff’s insurer from bringing a subrogated claim against the covenantee defendant for the damage. Notwithstanding a lack of contractual privity, the covenant also barred the plaintiff from bringing a subrogated claim against the other defendants on the basis that the plaintiff's claim was derivative of the same incident and the same damage as the claim against the covenantee.

Sanofi Pasteur Ltd. v. UPS SCS, Inc. [2014] O.J. No. 2076, April 30, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, E.M. Morgan 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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An insurer was not entitled to rely on a contractual limitation period shortening the statutory limitation period because the wording for when the limitation period commenced was not clear. The limitation period did not start to run until after the appeals process had been exhausted.

Kassburg v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [2014] O.J. No. 1090, March 7, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, M.G. Ellies J.

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No duty to defend was found where the true nature of the claim could not be determined from the pleadings.

University of Waterloo v. Scottish & York Insurance Co., [2014] O.J. No. 1103, February 24, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, D.J. Gordon J.

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Despite an exclusion for bodily injury caused by the use of a gun, the insurer had  a duty to defend claims the insured had breached its duties related to its capacity as an occupier of the premises where the shooting occured.

Kinkade v. 947014 Ontario Inc. (c.o.b. The Silver Dollar), [2014] O.J. NO. 1271, March 20, 2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, G. Roccamo 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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