Case Summary: It’s a scorcher!
Coverage denied on the basis that water escaping from a drain on the sun deck did not occur within the dwelling.
Insurance law – Homeowner’s insurance – Water damage – Exclusions – Interpretation of policy – Practice – Summary judgments
Gill v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.,  B.C.J. No. 1048, 2022 BCSC 981, British Columbia Supreme Court, June 10, 2022, C.J. Giaschi J.
The insured sought coverage from his insurer pursuant to the sewer back-up endorsement for water damage resulting from water back-up due to a clogged perimeter drainage system. The water escaped through a drain located in the sun deck and entered the home’s basement from the deck. The sewer back-up endorsement provided coverage for a “sudden and accidental backing up or escape of water or sewage within your dwelling … through a sewer on your premises.” The insurer denied coverage on the basis that the sudden and accidental backing up or escape of water did not occur “within the dwelling”. The Court held that although the sun deck was part of the dwelling, it was not inside the exterior walls of the building and therefore was not “within the dwelling”. The escape of water did not occur “within the dwelling”.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.