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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Court dismisses statutory misrepresentation claim against credit union board in landmark decision

For the first time, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a decision that considered issues of statutory misrepresentation in an offering statement under the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994[1] (Act). Polla v. Croatian (Toronto) Credit Union also provides extensive guidance on issues of directors’ and officers’ liability more generally. There is very limited jurisprudence in this area, and this landmark decision is expected to provide valuable guidance to boards and insurers on risk prevention. This insight provides a high-level overview of the decision.

Facts

The plaintiff, Ferdinando Polla (Polla), invested CA1 $5 million in the Croatian Credit Union (CCU) after the struggling credit union filed an offering statement in order to raise funds.

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Ontario Court hits the brakes on duties owed to intoxicated plaintiffs

The expansion of recognized duties of care owed to intoxicated persons recently met resistance from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In Stewart et al. v. The Corporation of the Township of Douro-Dummer, 2018 ONSC 4009, the Plaintiff was one of four passengers in a taxi cab who was intoxicated and injured after the cab was involved in an accident. The cab driver was not at fault in the actual accident. The Plaintiff did not have his seat belt buckled up at the time of the accident, which resulted in more serious injuries. By the time the action got to trial, the only issue was whether the driver owed the Plaintiff a duty of care to ensure his seat belt was buckled on the basis that it was apparent to the driver that the Plaintiff was intoxicated and, therefore, vulnerable and unable to look after himself. Read more

Usanovic v. Penncorp Life Insurance Co.

Common law contract and principles require an insurer’s duty of good faith to an insured. The Ontario Court of Appeal (the “Court”) has recently confirmed that this duty does not include a general obligation to provide notice of an insured’s limitation periods and for bringing a coverage claim against the insurer.

The Court l has recently confirmed that where there is no statutory provision to the contrary, the window of time in which an individual can sue their insurer remains open for two years. In 2017, the Court held that insurance providers do not have a duty to inform insureds of pending limitation periods.

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Benefits of a well crafted release: Biancaniello v. DMCT LLP

A release is a contract that relieves one or more parties of future liability surrounding certain incidents. Parties often use releases in the context of settlements, to avoid future litigation in connection with the negotiations.

In the past, it has been uncertain how the courts will interpret the general language of standard form releases in the insurance context (i.e. it was not always clear whether broadly-worded releases would be enforceable against unforeseen claims). Recently, the Ontario Court of Appeal ( “Court”) provided some clarity on this subject. The Court held that express language is required to exclude claims that were not contemplated, provided that the language of the release is sufficiently broad.

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Defining parameters: Insurers duty to defend v. duty to indemnify

Practically every business and homeowner obtains insurance to protect themselves against losses to their property or business caused by an unforeseen event. However, sometimes when these events happen, both the insurers and insureds alike find themselves faced with the seminal question of whether such an event is covered by the insurance policy. Two most important aspects of an insurance policy when determining what is covered are: (i) The insurers duty to defend; and (ii) The insurers duty to indemnify. The duty to indemnify is the most common and known aspect of an insurance policy. This duty requires the insurer to pay for any judgment awarded to the third party against its insured, or any settlement that the parties may reach in lieu of judgment. Read more