An insured who operates a motor vehicle contrary to a criminal court order is nevertheless authorized to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to Statutory Condition 4(1).

Middleton v. Pankhurst, [2017] O.J. No. 5661, 2017 ONCA 835, Ontario Court of Appeal, November 2, 2017, C.W. Hourigan, L.B. Roberts and I.V.B. Nordheimer J.J.A.

The insurer appealed the trial judge’s decision finding it liable to pay a settlement agreement following a snowmobile accident caused when the insured drove his snowmobile at night and with alcohol in his system contrary to a criminal probation order.

The Court of Appeal held that the determination of whether an insured is authorized to operate a motor vehicle per Statutory Condition 4(1) is restricted to a consideration of restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Transportation. A criminal probation order restricting a person from driving does not render that individual not authorized to operate a motor vehicle. Aviva was required to pay on behalf of its insured despite his having operated the snowmobile contrary to the terms of his criminal probation order.