Insurers face millions of dollars in losses following Toronto tragedy

Published: April 30, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The human loss for the April 23 tragedy in Toronto can never be counted after a man drove his rental van down a crowded sidewalk killing ten and injuring a further 14. Families will deal with the aftermath for the rest of their lives. However, the insurance cost can be evaluated and accident claims from the tragedy could cost insurance companies millions of dollars.

“There are countless [auto accident benefits] claims that are going to emanate from this,” Eric Grossman, founding partner of Zarek Taylor Grossman Hanrahan LLP, told Canadian Underwriter.

Additionally, pedestrian victims are likely to make first-party accident benefits claims through their own insurance policy if they are the named insured or a spouse of a named. It is worth noting Gorssman was specifically talking about first-party accident benefits and not liability policies.

If the driver of the rental van has auto insurance then his carrier could be facing the costs of numerous cases if people sue the driver. David Contant, a lawyer with Nelligan O’Brien said that’s because Ontario standard auto liability coverage does not exclude intentional or criminal acts automatically.

Even victims of the attack without auto insurance can claim accident benefits from the company that insured the rental van, Grossman points out. He says the theoretical cost for the insurer could run into “tens of millions of dollars”.