This matter concerned a motor vehicle accident that occurred on July 19, 2006. The plaintiff had a policy of insurance which included a provision for underinsured motorist coverage. The plaintiff commenced a claim against the defendant driver in June 2007 and a claim against his insurer for underinsured motorist coverage in June 2010. The plaintiff’s insurer brought a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim on the basis that it was commenced after the expiry of the 1 year limitation period set out in section 17 of the OPCF-44R. The plaintiff took the position that section 17 did not apply and the 2 year limitation period set out in section 4 the Limitations Act overrode section 17 of the OPCF-44R. The motions judge accepted the plaintiff’s argument and dismissed the insurer’s motion. The plaintiff’s insurer appealed this decision.
On appeal, the plaintiff’s insurer conceded that the 2 year limitation period in the Limitations Act applied and overrode the 1 year limitation period in the OPCF-44R. Instead, the insurer asserted that the limitation period began to run when the plaintiff knew or ought to have known that their claim exceeded the Defendant’s policy limits, embodied under section 15 of the OPCF-44R. The insurer argued that this section was not overridden by the discoverability provision under section 5 of the Limitations Act.
The Ontario Court of Appeal rejected the insurer’s argument. The court concluded that once it was accepted that the 2 year limitation period set out in the Limitations Act applied so did the discoverability provisions in section 17 of the Act. Turning to discoverability, the court held that this loss was only discovered by the plaintiff after a formal request for indemnification was made to the insurer and the insurer failed to indemnify the plaintiff. Given this finding, the court held that the 2 year limitation period did not begin to run until the day after the demand for indemnification was made to the plaintiff’s insurer under the underinsured motorist provision of the policy.