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Negligent Parenting Not Covered Under Auto Policy

In Hunt v. Peel Mutual Insurance Company, 2019 ONCA 656, the Court of Appeal upheld a decision which addressed whether an automobile insurer had to defend a father for negligent parenting.

A daughter sued her father arising out of a motor vehicle accident. The daughter alleged that her father was negligent in permitting her to be transported by an impaired driver. The alleged impaired driver was the father’s girlfriend. The father was also in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

When an occupant of a motor vehicle is sued, an automobile insurer only needs to provide coverage to the occupant if the loss or damage arises from the use or operation of an automobile.

The Court of Appeal stated that, even though the daughter’s injuries arose from the use of a vehicle, the father’s liability for her loss or damage did not.

The father’s liability was alleged to arise from negligent parenting, not from anything connected to the use or operation of the automobile.

As a result, the automobile insurer was not required to defend the father.