Determining Insurer Liability: A Borrowed Car

In the recent decision, Tokio Marine & Nichido Insurance Company v. Security National Insurance Company, 2019 ABQB 622, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (the “Court”) heard an appeal of a Master’s of an application for an order declaring that another insurer had a duty to defend a motorist involved in an accident. This is an important decision for insurers as it provides an examination of a unique factual scenario where there was overlapping insurance coverage.

The Facts

On June 4, 2016, Ms. Sran drove a vehicle owned by Mr. Gill (the “Gill Vehicle”), to an Acura dealership in Calgary, Alberta (the “Dealership”), for servicing.

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The Injured & The Restless: Principles of Contractual Interpretation Leave Insured With an Uphill Battle for Mattress Coverage

This article has been republished with permission by The Alberta Broker Magazine.

Interpreting Contracts

The general principles of contractual interpretation require a decision-maker to read the contract before them as a whole, giving the words used their ordinary and grammatical meaning, in a manner consistent with the surrounding circumstances known to the parties at the time of formation of the contract.  While remaining faithful to the actual language of a contract and without deviating from those words, the decision-maker may consider surrounding circumstances (often called the “factual matrix”) to aid in contractual interpretation.

Standard Form Contracts Are Unique

These principles are set out by the Supreme Court of Canada (the “Supreme Court”) in Creston Moly Corp v Sattva Capital Corp,1 and they apply broadly.  However, subsequent to Sattva, courts disagreed on whether the interpretive principles articulated in that decision also applied to standard form contracts—some appellate courts said they did, some said they did not.  As a result, two years later, the Supreme Court clarified in Ledcor Construction Ltd v Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co2 that standard form contracts (e.g.

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Notice requirements for professional liability insurance: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company of Canada v. Duncan, 2019 NSCA 54

On June 18, 2019, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal released its decision in the case involving Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company of Canada (Trisura) and Duncan et al. This decision is noteworthy, as it may lessen an insured’s obligation to notify and disclose potential claims, and increase the burden of diligence on the insurer.

Facts

Trisura provided professional liability coverage to Keybase National Financial Services Inc. (Keybase) from July 2008 to July 2012. Gregory Duncan and James White (Duncan and White) were Keybase advisors during this time.

Duncan and White assumed responsibility for John Allen’s (Allen) clients. Allen was also a Keybase advisor.

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Ontario sends insurance exec to London to drum up business in province

The provincial government of Ontario has chosen an insurance industry executive as one of four people who will be posted overseas to attract investment and grow international trade.

Taylor Shields, currently assistant vice president for marketing at Chubb, will be sent to London as an agents-general to help create opportunities for Ontario companies and close investment deals. Her appointment is for a period of three years and carries a salary of $185,000.

Read more: Ontario government provides Ottawa with $1.5 million in tornado assistance funding

An agents-general serves as Ontario’s primary international representative in their locations, working with the province’s existing network of 14 trade and investment offices.

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Are parents liable for their adult children’s social host mistakes?

In the 2006 case Childs v. Desormeaux, the Supreme Court of Canadaprovided initial clarification on the law of social host liability, finding that hosting a party at which alcohol is served does not, without more, establish the degree of proximity required to give rise to a duty of care. However, Childs v. Desormeaux left open the possibility of a positive duty of care in a number of scenarios, including cases of “paternalistic relationships of supervision and control, such as those of parent-child or teacher-student” (at para 36). It is a live question of concern to insurers and hosts alike to determine how far such a duty might extend.

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Case comment: Reference re Environmental Management Act (British Columbia): One step forward for Trans Mountain

On May 24, 2019, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) released its highly anticipated decision in Reference re Environmental Management Act (British Columbia).1 In a unanimous 5-0 decision, the Court of Appeal held that the Province of BC does not have the constitutional authority to enact amendments to the provincial Environmental Management Act that would have required the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) to obtain a hazardous substance permit before transporting increased amounts of heavy oil across BC. This case is significant because it has removed, for now at least, one of the barriers to the development and construction of TMX.

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Ontario’s loss transfer scheme and extraterritorial application

Canadian provinces have no legislative competence to regulate automobile insurance beyond their own borders. Nevertheless, tractor-trailers rumble across the country to deliver goods, families pack into hatchback sedans to vacation in distant destinations, and business teams disembark airports into rental cars to attend their next meeting. Borders are ever-increasingly transient.

In this globalized context, it is important for Ontario insurers to understand their exposure both within the heartland province and beyond. This article briefly considers Ontario’s loss transfer scheme as it applies to accidents outside of Ontario.

The no-fault scheme

Ontario’s current loss transfer scheme is a legislative response to “no-fault” automobile insurance.

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