Interpretation, restriction of risk, automobile insurance
A recent British Columbia case, Sabell et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company has attempted a definition of the standard automobile insurance policy restriction against "driving in connection with the business of selling automobiles".' This judgment by Ruttan, J. is mildly surprising for a number of reasons. It places a generous interpretation on a clause used by an insurer to restrict its risk and, in the result, recovery is denied to a third party claimant. Thus, the judgment represents something of a departure from the usual judicial treatment of exclusion clauses which are most commonly construed rather strictly against the insurer; more especially, having in mind the elaborate statutory scheme for the protection of victims of automobile accidents, strict construction may be expected in any case in which the insurer relies on its exclusion clause as a defence to the victim's claim.
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James A. Rendall, “Interpretation of Restriction of Risk Clauses in Automobile Insurance Policies” (1975-1976) 2:1 DLJ 158.