Insurer required to pay for consultant retained by insured to assess proposed scope of repair.

Be In Christ Church of Canada (c.o.b. Welland Brethren in Christ Church) v. Intact Insurance Co., [2019] O.J. No. 6485, 2019 ONSC 7412, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, December 20, 2019, D.L. Edwards J.

A dispute arose following a fire loss. The insurer obtained three quotes to complete the repairs and proposed to pay the insured the lowest estimate. The insured was concerned it lacked the expertise to critique the proposed scope of work and sought to retain a professional to assist. The insured had procured a coverage extension in its policy for reasonable fees charged by consultants for the purpose of producing or certifying particulars of details of the insured’s business, and that were required by the insurer in connection with loss or damage caused to the insured property by an insured peril.

The insurer took the position that coverage extended only to professionals it retained and not the insured. The court found there was ambiguity and as such decided the issue in favour of the insured.

This case was digested by Cameron B. Elder, and first published in the LexisNexis® Harper Grey Insurance Law Netletter and the Harper Grey Insurance Law Newsletter.