Insurance companies don’t always look for ways to weasel out of paying its clients, this case shows they can be subject to fraud.

Before: Arbitrator Jeffrey Rogers
Heard: May 20, 2014, at the offices of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario in Toronto
Appearances: Mr. Andrew McKague, solicitor for Belair Insurance Company Inc. No one appearing for Mr. Harriot.

The Applicant, Paul Michael Harriot, alleges that he was injured in a motor vehicle accident on June 5, 2010. He applied for and received statutory accident benefits from Belair Insurance Company Inc. (“Belair”), payable under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule Effective September 1, 2010, Ontario Regulation 34/10, as amended. Disputes arose regarding his entitlement to further claimed benefits. The parties were unable to resolve their disputes through mediation, and Mr. Harriot applied for arbitration at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario under the Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.I.8, as amended.

A pre-hearing discussion was held on July 10, 2012. The pre-hearing Arbitrator scheduled the hearing to start on May 27, 2013.

In March 2013, Belair received evidence that Mr. Harriot was not injured in an “accident” as defined in the Schedule. The parties agreed to adjourn the hearing to May 20, 2014. The pre-hearing discussion was resumed on April 10, 2014 in order to ascertain whether Mr. Harriot intended to pursue this arbitration. He was given notice of the resumption at his last known address in the records of the Commission. He did not participate in the resumed pre-hearing.
Mr. Harriot did not attend the hearing on May 20, 2014. This arbitration is dismissed.

Belair claimed its expenses of the arbitration and investigating the alleged accident in the amount of $1,500, inclusive of disbursements and HST.

The issues in this hearing are:
1. Should this arbitration be dismissed because Mr. Harriot has failed to participate?
2. Is Mr. Harriot liable to pay Belair’s expenses of the arbitration, and if so, in what amount?

Under section 282 of the Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.I.8, as amended, it is ordered that:
1. This arbitration is dismissed.
2. Mr. Harriot shall pay Belair its expenses of the arbitration in the amount of $1,500.

Seyada Mahmoud is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

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