Published In: Insurance Law Newsletter - 10.Dec.19 December 11, 2019

Case Summary: Not a moment too soon

A pedestrian was covered under her spouse’s employer’s motor vehicle insurance policy as the motor vehicle was available to the spouse’s use at the time of the accident.

Insurance law – Automobile insurance – Statutory Accident Benefits – Interpretation of policy – Uninsured motorist – Practice – Appeals

Murphy v. Savoie, [2019] O.J. No. 5004, 2019 ONCA 784, Ontario Court of Appeal, October 3, 2019, P.D. Lauwers, J.M. Fairburn and B. Zarnett JJ.A.

The insurer appealed a decision of the lower court that held that there was coverage for a pedestrian who had been struck by an uninsured motorist. The pedestrian’s spouse was employed as a flower deliverer and used his employer’s van for this purpose. The policy granted coverage to the pedestrian if her husband was an employee for whose regular use the automobile was provided at the time the accident happened. The motor vehicle accident occurred prior to the pedestrian’s spouse arriving for work that day. He typically arrived at work by 9:30am. However, the flower shop was open at 9:00am and therefore the van was available for his use at the time of the accident, just before 9:30am. As such, the pedestrian was entitled to coverage.

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