Trucking insurance: coverage is defined by contract, not conversations, according to a court

An Ontario court has ruled that Clean Harbors Canada, one of the largest carriers of hazardous waste in North America, will not have to cover fire damage to a truck owned and operated by one of its subcontractors. sous. -treaters, despite postulates based on informal conversations about coverage.

Le Volvo 2007 by Gergley Jakab was damaged in an electrical fire in July 2018, when transporting merchandise to Clean Harbors. In October, the valet hired a lawyer to help him recover the truck’s value and related losses from the company or its insurer, Chubb of Canada Insurance Company.

(photo: iStock)

Chubb declined to pay, noting that the Clean Harbors insurance policy did not include “full or full risk” coverage. So Chubb was liable for the company’s liability, Clean Harbors was self-insured for the physical damages of the first party.

Mr Jakab told the court that after signing the contract, someone told him he was “fully covered” by the police.

The court concluded that this statement should rightly signify that Mr. Jakab is covered by the company’s liability cover, which is mandatory for driving on Ontario roads. But that didn’t mean the same thing as covering the damage caused by Mr. Jakab’s truck fire.

Mr Jakab said that someone at Clean Harbors should have told him that before he signed the contract, but the court emphasized a clause stating: “Clean Harbors will make all the insurance available to the subcontractor.” with the exception of the non-owned trailer cover, to insure the equipment and the contractor under the insurance policies obtained and maintained by Clean Harbors».

‘Clean Harbors makes no representations or warranties as to the extent or adequacy of the insurance coverage which it provides and assumes no liability as to the adequacy of such insurance. The subcontractor will be solely responsible for ensuring that the coverage offered by this insurance is adequate, ”the contract reads.

In other words, the court concluded that Mr. Jakab was responsible for ensuring that he was covered for first-party damage to his truck, valued at approximately $ 30,000 at the time. fire.

Even Clean Harbors had indicated in an informed conversation that “fully insured” did not refer to the damage caused by the truck fire, they were not affected by the contract. The Clean Harbors insurance policy contains the following “full contract” clause:

“This contract, including the appendices attached thereto, constitutes the entire contract between the parties and cancels and supersedes all previous contracts, written or oral, between the subcontractor and Clean Harbors; however, it may be modified or otherwise modified over time, provided that such changes are agreed in writing between Clean Harbors and the subcontractor. “

Once the contract was signed, the two parties were bound by text. Informal conversations on “full coverage” mean nothing, unless both parties come in writing, including definitions and agreements in an amendment to the contract.

  • With information from the Canadian Insurers Association

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