Published In: Insurance Law Newsletter – 11.Aug.20 August 11, 2020

Case Summary: The policy is the sum of all its parts

The duty to defend clause in one of the forms comprising the policy was found to apply to other forms of the policy which did not contain duty to defend clauses.

Insurance law – Commercial general liability insurance – Duty to defend – Exclusions – Interpretation of policy – Insurer – Rights, duties and liabilities – Practice – Appeals

Intact Insurance Co. v. Clauson Cold & Cooler Ltd., [2020] A.J. No. 491, 2020 ABCA 161, Alberta Court of Appeal, April 28, 2020, F.L. Schutz, R. Khullar and D. Pentelechuk JJ.A.

The insurer of a cold warehouse storage business appealed the chambers judge’s ruling that the insurer had a duty to defend lawsuits brought against the insured by customers who suffered loss of products under refrigeration in the insured’s warehouse. The insured’s policy comprised more than 20 forms, of which only the commercial general liability form and warehouse form contained duty to defend language. However, the duty to defend clause included language that it would apply to any claims, suits, or other proceedings that may be instituted against the insured for any accident or occurrence covered by “this Policy” and the “Policy” was defined in the declaration pages to mean “the collection of all its components.” Therefore, the duty to defend clause applied to all forms, including the equipment breakdown coverage – standard comprehensive form and the equipment breakdown coverage – consequential damage which would cover the claims at issue.

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