In one of the most unique legal cases in Ontario, a driver who signed a family insurance policy that excluded the driver has sued for loss and damages.
Jonathon Trudeau and his wife signed the OPCF 28A excluded driver endorsement when his wife bought an insurance policy from Wawanesa Insurance. Due to Trudeau’s driving record, the couple was not able to buy insurance without signing the endorsement.
Unfortunately, Trudeau was involved in an accident on Aug. 7, 2013. During the investigation, he gave his wife’s insurance number to the officer, but he was denied the benefits. It was after this that Jonathan Trudeau filed a lawsuit against the other driver.
However, the defendant was quick to include s. 267.6 of the insurance act, which prevented someone from recovering damage and injury due to bodily injury as the plaintiff was uninsured at the time of the accident.
Jonathan Trudeau had a good argument. His new car was bought 16 months after he and his wife had signed the endorsement. He had assumed that the excluded driver endorsement only included automobiles he owned at the time of signing it. He had not anticipated that it also applied to a new car.
He also cited a number of cases that show those who did not have knowledge of their uninsured state can still claim accident benefits. However, his claims were dismissed by the Ontario Superior court.
How to protect yourself from such situations?
Although experts agree that this is a very rare case, it shows that you can never be too careful and prepared when it comes to accidents and legal claims. So what are the ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of such unique situations?
- Always make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of any documents before you put down your signature. The endorsement signed by Mr. Trudeau did not specifically state a new car was excluded from the endorsement. However, he had assumed that it did not include the new car that he bought more than a year later.
- Make sure that you have a good reason before you go to court. Although Mr. Trudeau stated that he had not personally spoken to the insurance company, insurance companies don’t give out their policies unless all the conditions are met, in this case, the exclusion of the husband from the policy.