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September 30, 2015

Contracting out of the Insurance Act

Section 263 of the Insurance Act provides that in cases of property damages involving two insured automobiles, the insured is entitled to recover from his or her own insurer.

A recent appeal decision held that although s. 263 precludes tort claims, it permits claims based in contract.

In Hafeez v. Sunaric, 2015 ONSC 4065 (S.C.J.), after a collision in a parking lot, the defendant agreed to pay the plaintiff $15,000 "minus insurance payment".  The vehicle was appraised at $13,500.  The plaintiff was paid $6,500 by his insurer and sought to recover the rest from the defendant pursuant to their contract.  The Small Claims Court judge held the agreement was unenforceable due to s. 263.  The plaintiff appealed.

Justice Perrell allowed the appeal.  The property loss compensation scheme introduced by s. 263 precludes tort claims but does not preclude claims based in contract.

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