Failure of owner to provide her own up-to-date address did not constitute substantial failure to cooperate

Ontario civil | Insurance | Actions on policies | Practice and procedure

Plaintiff brought action pursuant to s. 258(1) of Insurance Act for payment of insurance monies. Payment was sought to satisfy judgment arising from settlement in action for damages suffered by plaintiffs as result of single vehicle accident. At issue was which insurer should satisfy judgment. Insurer G was insurer of owner of vehicle, who was mother of driver, and insurer A was insurer of plaintiff passenger. Motion judge concluded that insurer G was liable for judgment, finding that owner of vehicle had not breached insurer G's policy so as to forfeit proceeds. Insurer G appealed. Appeal dismissed. Motion judge did not err in his analysis of whether policy was breached by reason of lack of cooperation. Information about driver's address in vehicle owner's original statement was not specific and there was no evidence that adjuster or insurer G sought more detailed information either during interview or in later telephone discussion with owner. Nowhere in September 20, 2010 letter did insurer G seek information regarding driver's whereabouts. In these circumstances, where only relevant information insured could possibly have had was her son's current address, it was open to motion judge to conclude that failure of owner to provide her own up-to-date address did not constitute substantial failure to cooperate.

Ruddell v. Gore Mutual Insurance Company (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 6402, 2019 ONCA 328, K. van Rensburg J.A., C.W. Hourigan J.A., and Grant Huscroft J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 10032, 2018 ONSC 3932, S. Nakatsuru J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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