Canadian Underwriter

Auto Use

November 1, 2017   by Daniel Strigberger Partner; and Andrew Mercer, Associate; Samis + Company

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Canadian courts are often called upon to decide whether or not claims fall under the definition of “use or operation” of automobiles. Non-auto liability policies — such as homeowners and commercial general liability — tend to exclude claims arising from use or operation of automobiles.

Such exclusions tend to be interpreted narrowly. That being the case, it can get murky in incidents involving multiple classes of negligent acts, some of which relate to auto use or operation.

Daniel Strigberger, Partner, Samis+Company

Mandatory auto liability policies in Canada tend to cover claims arising out of the use and operation of the vehicle.

The first-party statutory accident benefits coverage is triggered where the claimant establishes he or she was in an “accident,” which the policy defines as“…an incident in which the use or operation of an automobile directly causes an impairment…”

Andrew Mercer, Associate, Samis + Company

Conversely, most liability policies (with the obvious exception of auto policies) exclude liability arising out of an automobile accident and, more specifically, the “use or operation” of an automobile. A commercial general liability policy (CGL), for instance, will generally exclude liability claims that arise from the “ownership, use or operation of an automobile” or other losses that would be covered by an auto policy.

Read the full article in the Digital Edition of the October 2017 Canadian Underwriter.

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