British Columbia’s statutory automobile insurance is the primary insurance for damage to property resulting from an automobile accident. Where the damage results from the abandonment of a trailer truck’s cargo after an accident, ICBC is liable only for the costs of removing the cargo when a legal obligation is imposed upon the driver to remove the cargo from the accident site. A legal obligation to remove the cargo may arise despite the fact that an actual order to remove the cargo by a regulatory authority has not been made.

21. September 2004 0
Westside Transport Inc. v. Continental Insurance Co., [2004] B.C.J. No. 1971, British Columbia Supreme Court

The B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of a chambers judge’s ruling that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“I.C.B.C.”) had a duty to defend an action on behalf of an employee of a named insured in which the employee of the named insured under a “Garage Automobile Policy” was alleged to have been negligent in failing to stop for medical assistance when his passenger became unconscious as a result of diabetes during the course of a business trip. I.C.B.C. alleged that the chambers judge erred in refusing to consider a written statement made by the insured’s employee after the trip. I.C.B.C. also alleged that the chambers judge erred in concluding that the underlying action could possibly trigger indemnity under the terms of I.C.B.C.’s policy. The Court of Appeal dismissed a cross-appeal by the Co-Operators General Insurance Company who was similarly found to have a duty to defend the corporate defendant, North Okanagan Truck and R.V. Sales Ltd (“North Okanagan”) and the defendant driver under its CGL policy.

09. September 2004 0
Marjak Services v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [2004] B.C.J. No. 1838, British Columbia Court of Appeal

The occupant of a stolen car claimed damages against the insurer under the uninsured motorist provisions of his mother’s automobile insurance policy. Applying the rules of statutory interpretation, the Court of Appeal overturned the ruling of the motions judge and held that the exclusion clause in question excluded coverage under the policy for the occupant of a stolen vehicle.

03. September 2004 0
Simison (Litigation Guardian of) v. Catlyn, [2004] O.J. No. 3608, Ontario Court of Appeal

The insured plaintiff was successful in an action for payment under the policy against the defendant insurer because the insured was found not to have made wilfully misleading statements to the defendant. While the statements made by the insured’s wife to the insurer were found to be misleading, the statements were not within the scope of the wife’s authority as an agent. Moreover, nothing of an incorrect or misleading nature said by either the insured or his wife were material to the claim.

02. September 2004 0
Skuratow v. Commonwealth Insurance Co., [2004] B.C.J. No. 1823, Supreme Court of British Columbia

The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the finding of the motions judge on a Rule 21 procedure and ruled that the death of an insured during childbirth from an amniotic fluid embolism did not result from an “accident”. For this reason, and because amniotic fluid embolism was found to be a physical illness which constituted an exclusion, coverage under the terms of the accidental death benefit rider was denied.

31. August 2004 0
Wang v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., [2004] O.J. No. 3525, Ontario Court of Appeal

This is an appeal from the decision of the motions judge holding that, pursuant to the Ontario rule, the Plaintiff had suffered an impairment as a result of an “accident” as defined in the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule. At issue was whether the Plaintiff’s injuries were “directly caused by the use of an automobile”. The Court of Appeal held that they were not.

27. August 2004 0
Greenhalgh v. ING Halifax Insurance Co., [2004] O.J. No. 3485, Ontario Court of Appeal

A Manitoba resident, driving a vehicle insured in Manitoba, does not have to register his motor vehicle in B.C. while visiting the province for more than 30 days if he is in B.C. for touring purposes. The motorist was found to be in B.C. for touring purposes despite the fact that he was working for a relative during his visit.

26. August 2004 0
Thon v. Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation and Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [2004] B.C.J. No. 2319, Supreme Court of British Columbia

The Court of Appeal affirmed the decision at trial that an insurer had a duty to indemnify against and defend an action brought by Dayton Hewson, an insured under a policy of liability insurance, against his father and mother, Larry and Jean Hewson, also insured under the same policy. The insurer argued that an exclusion clause in the policy excluded liability coverage for an insured in respect of a claim brought by another insured. The trial judge found that Dayton was an employee of his father, and therefore the exclusion clause did not apply. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial finding that the wording of the exclusion clause was ambiguous, and the definition of “employee” was reasonable; therefore, there was no error sufficient to warrant interference by the Court of Appeal.

20. August 2004 0
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. v. Hewson, [2004] S.J. No. 534, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal