Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Automobile Policy Exclusions

The Superior Court of Justice has re-emphasized the requirement that an insurer must take appropriate steps to bring exclusions to the insured’s attention where the effect of an exclusion will have the harsh result of denying coverage under an automobile policy.

In GMAC Lease Co. Corp v. Lombard Insurance (2007), 87 O.R. (3d) 813, at paragraph 9, the Court of Appeal held that an insurer must provide the insured with a copy of every endorsement, per section 232(3) of the Insurance Act. The fact that an insurer can provide a certificate of insurance instead of the policy does not take away the duty imposed by section 232(3).

The obligation then is to provide the policy or certificate in an improved form as well as a copy of every endorsement. Since the insurer had failed to comply with section 232(3) of the Insurance Act by failing to deliver a copy of the OPCF 28A endorsement, excluded driver, the insurer cannot rely on the exclusion.

Justice Chapnick more recently in Chen Estate v. Chung, [2010] O.J. No. 5086 (SCJ), reiterated the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in GMAC Lease Co. Corp. v. Lombard Insurance.

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