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AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE - Exclusions - Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 9:22 AM  


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Appeal by the plaintiff from a determination of law resulting in the dismissal of his action. The appellant was injured while a passenger in his wife’s vehicle when it was driven without consent by an uninsured driver and involved in an accident. The motion judge determined that the appellant’s spouse had no applicable liability insurance because the driver was driving the vehicle without the owner’s consent. He concluded that because the appellant’s spouse owned the vehicle, he was excluded from uninsured automobile coverage under the Insurance Act, the Ontario Automobile Policy and the Family Protection Coverage Endorsement.

Each contained a similar exception to the “uninsured automobile” coverage: “this does not include an automobile owned by or registered in the name of the insured person or their spouse.” The appellant argued that the exception to “uninsured automobile” insurance must be afforded a purposive interpretation.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The meaning of the definition of uninsured automobile under s. 265(2) of the Insurance Act was clear and unambiguous and excluded an automobile owned by or registered in the name of the insured or his or her spouse. The insurance policy provision, virtually identical to the wording of the same definition of uninsured automobile under s. 265(2), was also clear on its face. Where, as here, the exclusion provided for under s. 265(2) and the policy was unambiguous on its face, it was not the role of this court to rewrite the provision based on speculation.

Skunk v. Ketash, [2018] O.J. No. 2901, Ontario Court of Appeal, P.S. Rouleau, L.B. Roberts and J.M. Fairburn JJ.A., May 14, 2018. Digest No. TLD-July92018002