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Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s new rule: Insured cars taken without consent are uninsured

A recent case in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has brought on a new precedent in the auto insurance industry. The ruling states that vehicles covered by insurance are considered “uninsured” if a car is taken from the owner without consent.

The case, Skunk v Ketash, 2016 ONSC 2019, asked the court to decide whether uninsured or underinsured coverage applied to a policyholder’s spouse when the vehicle had been driven without the owner’s consent.

The plaintiff, Skunk, was a passenger in her spouse’s car but her spouse was not present; the vehicle was actually being driven by Ketash (the defendant). The car got into a collision and Skunk was injured. While the defendant did not have insurance, the car itself was insured with Jevco.

Skunk tried to make a claim against Jevco, but was denied coverage as Skunk’s husband had charged Ketash with theft of the vehicle. The Superior Court agreed with Jevco, citing that a plaintiff cannot make a claim when a spouse owns the vehicle. For more details on the case, see here: http://www.insurancebusiness.ca/news/auto/insured-cars-taken-without-consent-are-considered-uninsured-ontario-superior-court-212071.aspx

The moral of the story? Vehicle owners need to be very cautious as to who uses their car. Be sure to contact your insurance broker or company agent for more information on how something like this can affect your policy.