COURT FILE NO: CV-08-00364072
SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE - ONTARIO
ACE INA Insurance and the Co-operators General Insurance Company
Justice Edward Belobaba
COUNSEL: Lee Samis and Daniel Strigberger for the Applicant/Appellant, ACE INA
Mark Donaldson for the Respondent, Co-operators General Insurance
HEARD: March 11, 2009
E N D O R S E M E N T
 This application is an appeal of the decision of Arbitrator Bruce R. Robinson,
dated July 30, 2008. The issue on appeal is which insurer should pay statutory accident benefits
to a passenger injured in motor vehicle accident: the driver’s insurer or the passenger’s
employer’s insurer? The answer depends on the interpretation of the “company car” provision in
the SABS regulation.
The “company car” provision provides, in essence, as follows: if, at the time of
the accident, an insured automobile is being made available for the individual’s regular use by a
corporation, then that individual shall be deemed to be a named insured under the policy insuring
the automobile at the time of the accident. The priority scheme set out in the legislation makes
clear that if you are deemed to be a “named insured” under your employer’s auto insurance
policy, then this insurer pays the statutory accident benefits, not the driver’s insurer.
The learned arbitrator concluded that even though at the time of the accident a
company car was not being made available to the claimant, his employer’s insurer was
nonetheless responsible for the statutory accident benefits.
Judges are understandably reluctant to interfere with the awards of experienced
arbitrators, particularly where the issues are mainly factual. However, where the issue on appeal
is purely or primarily a question of law relating to statutory interpretation, as is the case here,
judicial intervention is warranted.
In my view, for the reasons set out below, the arbitrator erred