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Insured entitled to coverage under Alberta Standard Automobile Policy following accident involving an unidentified vehicle

July 14, 2017

Insured entitled to coverage under Alberta Standard Automobile Policy SPF #1 – SEF No. 44 Family Protection Endorsement following accident involving an unidentified vehicle.

Insurance law – Automobile insurance – Unidentified motorist – Interpretation of policy – Practice – Summary judgment vs. trial

Funk v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co., [2017] A.J. No. 468, 2017 ABQB 308, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, May 8, 2017, E.J. Simpson J.

The insurer and the insured brought competing applications for summary dismissal and summary judgment.

The insured owned a 1999 Jeep TJ which he insured with the insurer.  The insured was involved in a single vehicle rollover accident in which he suffered multiple injuries.  The insured deposed that he swerved to avoid an impact with an oncoming vehicle.  He believed the other vehicle left the scene and had no information about the identity of the driver or the owner of it.  Recognizing his claim to compensation under the Motor Vehicle Accidents Claim Fund was limited to $200,000, he advanced a claim against the insurer on the basis of the Alberta Standard Automobile Policy SPF #1 – SEF No. 44 Family Protection Endorsement.  The insurer denied coverage.  The issue of coverage turned on the interpretation of the term “unidentified vehicle” in the Endorsement.

The Court dismissed the insurer’s application for summary dismissal of the insured’s claim for coverage.  The Court granted a declaratory order in favour of the insured to the effect that he had coverage under the Endorsement.  However, the Court was not satisfied that the Court could dispose of the insured’s application for summary judgment based on the existing record and that a trial was appropriate.

This case was digested by Cameron B. Elder and edited by David W. Pilley of Harper Grey LLP. If you would like to discuss this case further, please feel free to contact them directly at [email protected] or [email protected] or review their biographies at http://www.harpergrey.com.

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Important Notice: The information contained in this Article is intended for general information purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. It is not intended as legal advice from Harper Grey LLP or the individual author(s), nor intended as a substitute for legal advice on any specific subject matter. Detailed legal counsel should be sought prior to undertaking any legal matter. The information contained in this Article is current to the last update and may change. Last Update: January 16, 2024.

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