As all insurance coverage attorneys know, how courts interpret certain words and phrases in insurance policies is significant since one word can make the difference between a claim being covered or not. On January 28, 2019, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, in the Ferro v. Weiner1 decision, clarified the jurisprudence on the meaning of “living in the same household” in the context of homeowners policies.
Ms. Enid Weiner owned a lakeside home which was insured under a homeowners policy through Intact Insurance Company (the “Intact Policy”). The Policy listed only Enid Weiner as the Named Insured, but provided coverage to her relatives “while living in the same household” for liability for unintentional bodily injury arising from an insured’s “personal actions anywhere in the world.” Although the lake house was used as a vacation home when Ms. Weiner’s children were small, it was her primary residence for about ten years before she moved into a nursing home. While she never permanently moved back, her three grown children and their families used the house as a cottage, with Enid occasionally accompanying them.