Published In: Insurance Law Newsletter – 12.Mar.19 March 8, 2019

Case Summary: Flower delivery van’s insurance coverage applied to delivery personnel’s spouse

A pedestrian qualified for coverage under her spouse’s employer’s motor vehicle insurance policy as the motor vehicle was available to the spouse for regular use at the time the pedestrian was struck by a motor vehicle.

Insurance law – Automobile insurance – Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule – Interpretation of policy – Excess liability

Murphy v. Savoie, [2019] O.J. No. 72, 2019 ONSC 121, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, January 8, 2019, E.M. Morgan J.

A pedestrian who was struck by a motor vehicle sought coverage under an insurance policy which covered a van typically driven by the pedestrian’s spouse in his employment as a flower deliverer. The policy provided that an insured person included an employee’s spouse while not an occupant of an automobile who is struck by an automobile. The issue was whether, at the time of the accident, the pedestrian’s spouse had access to the van for whose regular use the van was provided. The pedestrian’s spouse was on his way to work when the accident occurred. The court held that the van was available for use by the pedestrian’s spouse as of approximately thirty minutes prior to the accident as that was when the employer, the flower shop, opened for business. The fact that the pedestrian’s spouse did not actually arrive for work until after the accident did not change the fact that the van was available for use. As such, the policy provided coverage to the pedestrian.

This case was digested by Dionne H. Liu, and first published in the LexisNexis® Harper Grey Insurance Law Netletter and the Harper Grey Insurance Law Newsletter. If you would like to discuss this case further, please contact Dionne H. Liu at