The Wagners - A Serious Injury Law Firm blog shares Personal Injury stories and opinions relevant to Halifax, Nova Scotia residents. Let us know what you think.

Auto Insurance in Nova Scotia: Looking Into the Insurance Contract

by | Thursday, June 16, 2011

Auto insurance is mandatory for Nova Scotians. Each driver in Nova Scotia contracts with an insurer so that they may be insured against liability and for damages should they ever be involved in a car accident. While the contract is between the driver and the insurance company, because car insurance is the primary source of compensation for car accident victims, governments are heavily involved in the regulation and operation of the insurance regime. Automobile insurance is a product with a public purpose. As such, it is arguable that car insurance contracts are no “contracts” in the traditional sense. They can be considered public regulatory documents.

The importance of this distinction arises during disputes over insurance coverage and denials. When such disputes come up, Courts are inevitably asked to decide on the meaning of the insurance policy. In doing so, should they treat the policy as a “contract”, freely negotiated between two parties? Or, should Court regard the policy as a “social document”, akin to a piece of legislation? The answer is important as it establishes whether a narrow text-centric interpretation will be used (i.e. what is the precise wording of the document), or whether the Courts will determine coverage dispute based on public policy (i.e. what is the intent and purpose of the policy).

Wagners law firm prefers and argues for the latter. Injured victims of car accidents routinely face insurance denials from insurance companies. In deciding whether the denials are warranted, Wagners contends we must look beyond a narrow reading of the plain contract. Being more akin to a public document, we must look at the social consequences of a denial of coverage. There is an inherent power imbalance between insurance companies and injured car accident victims, consumer protection principles call for the language of the insurance policies to be construed as much as possible in favour of the injured car accident victim.

Sam M
Sam M
16:11 19 Jan 18
Dyana was so kind to help me and respond to my query within 24h even though they do not pursue the specific class action I was looking for. She sent me few links by email. Thank you Dyana.
linda frausell
linda frausell
01:21 16 May 17
I have dealt with Wagner and Associates over the years and have received great advice,support and results . Their team is very respectful and show they care. You can trust them to take care of you and they always have your best interest in hand. I would definetly recommend them .
frank slaunwhite
frank slaunwhite
16:29 03 May 17
Ray Wagner and his legal team have been representing my niece and I for many years. They have been honest and quick to respond to all our needs in a professional manner. I highly recommend Wagners Law Firm and appreciate their caring approach.Thanks
Missy Day
Missy Day
12:03 06 Oct 16
I can't speak highly enough about the lawyers at Wagners who represented me for injuries from not one but two motor vehicle accidents. They were very professional and approachable. I was kept informed of all steps in the process and all of my inquiries were responded to and dealt with very quickly. The lawyers are knowledgeable and showed great empathy for what I was going through. I would recommend this firm to anyone!
Nicholas Gordon
Nicholas Gordon
11:30 06 Oct 16
I contacted Wagners about a motor vehicle accident.I was able to speak with someone right away. The staff were very pleasant and helpful.I received a response about pursuing a case the next day.I would highly recommend this firm.
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