Duty to Defend

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In Bawden vs The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, 2013 O.N.C.A. 717(CA)

Wawanesa Insurance Company was ordered to defend parents pursuant to their homeowner's policy. The parent's eight year old daughter had sued the driver of the vehicle that struck and injured her.

The Defendant driver then claimed against the parents for contribution and indemnity for failure to properly supervise their daughter. The Court of Appeal confirmed the Motion Court Judge's decision that Wawanesa did owe a duty to defend the parents.

The Court further held that the exclusion of claims made for "bodily injury . . . to any person residing in your household" did not apply since this was a claim for contribution and indemnity by a tortfeasor and not a bodily injury claim made by a person in the household.

As anyone can attest, often times the cost of the litigation can be staggering.

Therefore the duty to defend which is different that the duty to indemnify in the liability policy is a very important right.


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