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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Collector Plates

Hey Guys,

So my spider is nearly reaching 25 years old, and I was gonna look into collector's plates for the old girl. Seeing as this is a BC forum for Alfa's there must be some guys who've been through the procedure already, and if I may, I'd like to ask a couple of questions.

I've read the relevant information at ICBC but wanted to clarify how stringent the rules are.

Firstly, my car is an 87 graduate manufacture date, I have the original bill of sale from San Fran, which is December 87, although my ICBC insurance papers have it is registered as an 88. Do I have to wait till 2013 to apply for the plates, or can I apply Jan 2012?

Condition, my spider is already in very good condition, although it does have a couple of minor rust spots and bubbling at the rockers and wing mirror, although very small, would I need to get this sorted.

I don't have the original radio, will this be a show stopper.

My spider doesn't have the original steelies, but has period Momo Vegas, will this be a problem.

My driver seat has a very small tear, although this is an easy fix.

Thanks in advance,
Cheers!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 01:01 PM
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You will more than likely have to wait until the end of 2012 to apply for col. plates. As far as condition goes, sounds like it wouldn't be an issue but its hard to say without seeing any pics. The radio will for sure be an issue if it is not of the era. Put a blank plate for the application pics, then re-install or try e-bay for an old radio. The momo vegas will not be an issue. The seat tear sounds minor that it will not be a concern. This is my opinion based on logic, however , when dealing w/ICBC aka THE DEVIL, logic may not prevail. Good luck! Hope to see you at some of the shows.

''Aerodynamics is for people who can't build engines"- Enzo Ferrari
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 10:39 PM
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Condition is of paramount importance!

Sorry for getting into this thread late - I haven't been here in a while - but this thread caught my eye and I'd thought it should be updated with important info for future reference. The following is a B.C. Supreme Court case involving a claim with a collector plate car and how it was denied because it contravened the regulations. This was sent via email to all Vintage Car Club of Canada members - which I'm a member of. Sit back and read on:


"Eugene Handel has very kindly provided me with a reference to the following decision of our BC Supreme Court. It shows how critical it may be to abide by the requirements and limitations in the Regulations for vehicles registered and insured as Collector cars.
While one may for years happily use a vehicle which is registered as a Collector car and yet does not meet the requirements, the whole affair could come to a crushing result if an accident occurred and ICBC denied coverage due to non-compliance. The fact that ICBC has not objected for years will not help you.

Note that the Regulations distinguish between Collector and Antique vehicles and the restrictions on their use is also significantly different:


Citation:

Madden v. I.C.B.C.
Date:
20020903


2002 BCSC 1285
Docket:
S005120

Registry: Vancouver

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

BETWEEN:

CHRISTOPHER ROSS MADDEN
BARRY MCKENZIE MADDEN

PLAINTIFFS

AND:

INSURANCE CORPORATION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

DEFENDANT






REASONS FOR JUDGMENT



OF THE



HONOURABLE MADAM JUSTICE MARTINSON






Counsel for the Plaintiffs
R. D. Bellamy

Counsel for the Defendant
J. D. James

Date and Place of Hearing/Trial:
June 11, 12 and 13, 2002



Vancouver, B.C.




INTRODUCTION

[1] On December 4, 1999, Christopher Madden, one of the two plaintiffs in this action, was driving a 1965 Buick Skylark that was licensed and insured as a collector vehicle. The vehicle collided with three other vehicles, causing damage to it and to the other three. He accepts responsibility for causing the collisions.

[2] The vehicle was owned jointly by him and his father, Barry Madden, the other plaintiff. They seek indemnity under an insurance policy for damage to their vehicle, and for third party liability claims. Their insurer, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”), denies coverage and counterclaims for reimbursement of the $23,540.67 it paid as a result of the collisions.

[3] ICBC administers the Collector Vehicle Program, which includes licensing collector vehicles, issuing policies insuring collector vehicles and adjusting claims made pursuant to those policies. The premiums charged to insure collector vehicles are substantially discounted from those generally charged for pleasure use in the same region of the province. In this case the insurance for the vehicle was $218 per year and would otherwise have been about $880 per year.

[4] The evidence shows that just before the collisions the Skylark was missing the right arm rest, had some paint chippings, and was missing insignias. The interior dome light was broken. The left door lock release knob was broken. There was a tear in the shifter boot. It had some minor pitting in the chrome. It had some problems with rusting. The side mouldings were not in good condition. The air cleaner was upside down. It had a parking sticker and a Sentinel Film pass on the windshield. It contained an uncertain number of parking tickets and gas receipts. Investigation also revealed that for a period of time before the collisions, but after the last renewal of the insurance policy, Christopher Madden did not have another insured non-collector vehicle.

[5] ICBC says that the plaintiffs breached three warranties. The first alleged breach is that the vehicle was not maintained to collector vehicle status. This argument has two aspects to it: the meaning of collector vehicle and the need for ongoing maintenance of the vehicle as a collector vehicle.

[6] ICBC says that to be a collector vehicle, a vehicle must meet the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, B.C. Reg. 26/58, requirement that it is maintained or restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer's specifications. It says however, that more is required. To qualify as a collector vehicle, the vehicle must also meet the criteria set out in ICBC’s application forms, which include criteria as to the actual condition of the vehicle. ICBC says that the vehicle did not meet either test.

[7] The plaintiffs, on the other hand, say that it is only the definition in the Regulations that is relevant. The meaning of collector vehicle is clear and there is no ambiguity. They say the vehicle fits within that definition.

[8] ICBC also says that not only must the vehicle qualify as a collector vehicle at the time the application is made and the contract is renewed, but there is an obligation to continue to maintain the vehicle as a collector vehicle. It says that the plaintiffs did not continue to maintain the vehicle. The plaintiffs say that there was no such obligation in effect at the time they applied or at the time the insurance contract was renewed. If there was such an obligation, they met it.

[9] The second alleged breach relates to the requirement to own another general transportation vehicle. ICBC says that Christopher Madden breached that policy requirement because he did not have another vehicle insured for a period of time after the last renewal of the insurance policy. The plaintiffs say that there is no such requirement, but even if there is, it was met by the fact that Barry Madden, the joint owner, had another general transportation vehicle during the time period in question.

[10] The third alleged breach is a breach of the “vehicle use” provision. The insurance policy indicates that the vehicle is for pleasure use. ICBC says that this provision, together with the requirement to own or lease a general transportation vehicle, means that the collector vehicle cannot be used as a general transportation vehicle. It says this vehicle was used as a general transportation vehicle. In addition, the policy specifically prohibits use of the vehicle to drive to and from work and for business or commercial purposes. ICBC says there is evidence that the vehicle was being driven to and from work, and undisputed evidence that the vehicle was used in a movie and that Christopher Madden received a benefit as a result.

[11] The plaintiffs say that ICBC has not proven that the vehicle was used as a general transportation vehicle, or that it was being driven to and from work. They say that the movie use was not a business use. Even if it was a business use, it happened before the last renewal of the contract. Even if the court finds that Christopher Madden used the vehicle for non-pleasure purposes, the plaintiffs say that the pleasure use only requirement is a representation descriptive of the risk. Therefore, the vehicle is only not covered by insurance while it is being driven for non-pleasure purposes. There is no evidence that, at the time of the accident, the vehicle was being driven for non-pleasure purposes.

[12] In the alternative, ICBC says that there were similar breaches of the terms and conditions of the policy that also lead to forfeiture. It relies on s. 19 of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 231, and s. 55 of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle Act) Revised Regulation (1984), B.C. Reg. 447/83.

ISSUES

[13] ICBC considers that the arguments raised by the plaintiffs challenge the integrity of its Collector Vehicle Program. There is little doubt that the administrators of the Program intended to permit only infrequent use of collector vehicles. In an explanatory brochure they explain that:

The Collector Vehicle Program was created to allow car enthusiasts to enjoy a pleasure drive on sunny days or evenings in addition to driving their vehicles in events such as parades and club activities. Collector vehicles should not be used for everyday general transportation. Since most have a high value and are maintained in excellent condition, their owners are expected to drive them infrequently, thereby reducing their exposure to the risk of a crash. ICBC can then offer insurance to their owners for much less than the cost of regular vehicle insurance.



[14] The real question is whether the Collector Vehicle Program's objective has been legally achieved. I will consider the issues raised under the following headings after providing some necessary background information:

1. Collector Vehicle Status

a. The Definition of Collector Vehicle

b. Continuing Duty to Maintain the Vehicle

c. Application to the Facts

d. Nature of the Breach

2. Owning/Leasing a General Transportation Vehicle

3. Vehicle Use

BACKGROUND

[15] The plaintiffs first applied to ICBC to have the vehicle accepted into the Collector Vehicle Program in August 1993. ICBC rejected the application. ICBC's rejection letter to the plaintiffs indicates that a criteria sheet was given to the plaintiffs, advising them that certain matters were not in conformity with the required criteria. The sheet states that rust was one of the problems.

[16] The plaintiffs made repairs so as to restore the vehicle so that it complied with the Program's requirements. The plaintiffs then reapplied in July 1995 and were accepted into the Program.

[17] Upon reapplying, Christopher Madden completed and signed an Application for Authorization for Collector Vehicle Status, Form MV 1425, which included a declaration that the vehicle was “in a condition that makes it of significant value to a collector or exhibitor of motor vehicles” and has “been maintained or restored to a condition which conforms to the original manufacturer's specifications...”. Attached to Form MV 1425 was Form MV 1425A, which sets out the requirements for authorization, licensing and insuring collector vehicles. It restates that the vehicle must be maintained or restored to a condition in conformity with original manufacturer's specifications and must be in a condition that makes it of significant value to a collector or exhibitor of vehicles, and sets out the work and school usage restrictions.

[18] ICBC also sets out stipulations, the following of which are relevant to this case:

APPEARANCE:



(a) EXTERIOR:



(i) No visible rust or bubbling



...



(iii)Paint – stock appearance no non stock colour schemes, stripes or stickers -no primer or paint blemishes – no dents/chips in bodywork/bumpers/no missing trim

...



(b) INTERIOR:



...



(ii) Upholstery including seats, door panels, head liners, dashboard, armrests – restored or good original condition...Evidence of lack of maintenance (unrepaired rips, grease stains, torn seams etc.) will disqualify the vehicle.



(iii)Flooring/carpeting – original or reproductions in good condition.



(c) UNDER THE HOOD: (complete engine compartment)



(i) No rust/grime/dirt. Must be exceptionally clean – no rust and no chipped paint...



(ii) Should appear showroom stock/original.



...



(d) BODY/CHASSIS:

ALTERATIONS from stock are not acceptable...



AFTERMARKET NON-FACTORY OPTIONS are not acceptable...



[19] In the letter approving the application, ICBC says this:

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that once you insure your Collector Vehicle, this declaration you have signed becomes a part of your insurance policy. In the Statement of Applicant you have declared that your vehicle meets ALL the requirements of the Collector Vehicle Criteria, and will be maintained or restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer's specifications, with the exception of the safety modifications permitted or the accessories listed on the (MV1425A) Collector application criteria sheet.



[20] By letters dated November 7, 1997, January 14, 1998, and February 6, 1998, the plaintiffs were requested to provide a full set of photographs so that the status of the vehicle could be reviewed. This was part of a random check. In the November 7, 1997 letter they were advised that the “review is done to confirm that vehicles with collector plates are being maintained in excellent, factory stock condition.” The plaintiffs sent in photographs, but not until July 1998. They were then advised by letter dated August 27, 1998 that the vehicle continued to be accepted and could be licensed and insured as a collector vehicle.

[21] Prior to the collisions, the plaintiffs renewed the vehicle's insurance for the period of August 26, 1999 to August 25, 2000. The August 26, 1999 Owner’s Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle License was signed by Christopher Madden and states:

Vehicle use: PLEASURE USE. NO DRIVING TO OR FROM WORK OR SCHOOL. NO BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL USE MUST OWN/LEASE ANOTHER LICENSED NON COLLECTOR MOTOR VEHICLE, OR USE A COMPANY ASSIGNED NON COLLECTOR MOTOR VEHICLE FOR GENERAL TRANSPORTATION.



...



Conditional Factor: LICENSE VALID ONLY ON A VEHICLE THAT QUALIFIES AS A COLLECTOR VEHICLE UNDER THE MVA REGULATIONS THAT IS USED FOR PLEASURE ONLY, NOT INCLUDING TO OR FROM WORK OR SCHOOL.



By signing here, you:



...



-apply for special coverage for which a premium is shown, in accordance with the terms and conditions for those coverages contained in Schedule 5 or 6 of the Regulation under the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act;

-certify that all information on all pages of this form is true and agree that you are responsible for any inaccuracies on any page or pages of this form;

-certify that coverage and use of the vehicle is correct;



...



[22] It is agreed that Form MV 1425 and Form MV 1425A have changed over time. Changes made to the forms are not, as a matter of course, brought to the attention of people who have licensed and insured collector vehicles. Changes made after his successful July 27, 1995 application were not brought to Christopher Madden’s attention. At the time that Christopher Madden did successfully apply, the forms did not contain a requirement that there must be another vehicle for general transportation use, or that the vehicle must be in exceedingly good stock condition regardless of age. In fact the application forms he used were not the most recent version, as ICBC permitted brokers to use an earlier version until the old forms were used up.

[23] Form MV 1425 was changed in February 2000, after the date of the collisions, to say not only that the vehicle has been maintained or restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer's specifications but that it will remain in a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer's specification. ICBC interoffice correspondence at the time indicates that the Acting Manager asked that the application be changed because:

Nowhere does it state that the vehicle must remain in very good, stock condition. Some insureds have questioned this after they have had a claim with their collector plated vehicle and they have been found in breach because the vehicle no longer qualifies for collector vehicle status. They have argued that the form doesn’t say they will keep the vehicles in the same condition as when the application was made.



DISCUSSION OF THE ISSUES

1. COLLECTOR VEHICLE STATUS

a. The Definition of Collector Vehicle

[24] The August 26, 1999 Owner’s Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle License is the insurance contract, and is therefore the starting point for the definition of collector vehicle: Patterson v. Gallant, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 1080 at 1089. The Owner’s Certificate says that the license is valid only on a vehicle that qualifies as a collector vehicle under the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.

[25] Division 22A.01(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations states:

In this regulation "collector motor vehicle" means a vehicle that



(a) is at least



(i) 25 years old and is considered by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to be of collectible value, or



(ii) 15 years old and because of discontinued production or limited availability is considered by the corporation to be of collectible value,



(b) is maintained or restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer's specifications, and



(c) is used solely for pleasure purposes and not for travel to and from work or school.



[26] I agree with the plaintiffs that there is no ambiguity in these provisions. The words of an Act are to be read in its entire context and in its grammatical and ordinary sense harmoniously with the scheme of the Act, the object of the Act and the intention of the legislature: Bell Express Vu Limited Partnership v. Rex (2002), 212 D.L.R. (4th) 1 (S.C.C.).

[27] Not only do the regulations require that the vehicle be maintained or restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer’s specification and be used only for pleasure, but they require that it must be considered by ICBC to be of collectible value: s. 22A.01(1)(a).

[28] I conclude that the court can look to Forms MV 1425 and MV 1425A, the Collector Vehicle Program application forms, to determine what factors ICBC takes into account in determining whether a vehicle is of collectible value. The purpose of the forms is in fact to set out the criteria to be met. It is however only the forms that Christopher Madden signed when he made his application in 1995 that apply. The later versions were not signed by him and were not brought to his attention.

[29] I have considered the meaning of the words “conforms to” in the requirement that the vehicle must be maintained or restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer's specifications. I disagree with the plaintiffs’ argument that all that means is that the vehicle must have the 1965 specification stock parts regardless of condition. Section 22A.01(1)(b) must be read within the context of and in consideration of the purpose of the section as a whole, with particular attention to “collectible value” pursuant to s. 22A.01(1)(a). Interpreting the section, as the plaintiffs suggest, is inconsistent with the collector goal of the section and inconsistent with the contents of the application forms.

b. Continuing Duty to Maintain the Vehicle

[30] I agree with ICBC that an insured owes the insurer a duty to act with the utmost good faith and has a continuing duty to disclose special facts because in most contracts of insurance the special facts upon which the risk is computed are peculiarly within the knowledge of the insured: N. Legh-Jones, Sir A. Longmore, J. Birds & D. Owen, eds., MacGillivray on Insurance Law, 9th ed. (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1997), at Ch. 17; and Gill v. ICBC, [1989] I.L.R. 1-2529 (B.C.S.C.). In this context, an applicant for collector vehicle status promises that the vehicle meets and will continue to meet the requirements of a collector vehicle. The Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act Revised Regulation (1984) requires an insured to notify the insurer of any change in use of the vehicle: s. 9(b)(i).

[31] Further support for the conclusion that ongoing maintenance is required is found in the contract itself, the August 26, 1999 Owner’s Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle License, which in turn defines collector vehicle in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.

[32] As noted above, Division 22A.01(1)(a) of the Regulations defines a collector vehicle as a vehicle considered by ICBC to be “of collectible value”. A vehicle not maintained to be of collectible value is not, therefore, a collector vehicle.

[33] In addition, the definition of collector vehicle in division 22A.01(1)(b) stipulates that a "collector motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is maintained or restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer's specifications. The language is in the present tense, and suggests an ongoing obligation to continue to maintain the vehicle in order to qualify for insurance pursuant to the contract.

[34] Words in the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations must be interpreted in light of the scheme for licensing and insuring collector vehicles as a whole. Context is essential in construing the written words of a statute: Bell Express Vu Limited Partnership v. Rex, cited above, at para. 27. A static interpretation of “maintained” in Division 22A.01(1)(b) would be inconsistent with the purpose of the Collector Vehicle Program. That purpose was succinctly stated in a letter dated July 4, 1995 from ICBC’s Chief Underwriter to a British Columbia Ombudsman Officer:

The collector rate class was intended for vehicles used occasionally for pleasure purposes by true collectors. It was not designed to simply provide cheap insurance for old cars.



[my emphasis]



[35] In light of this purpose, a finding that a vehicle does not have to be maintained as a collector vehicle once it is licensed would have the effect of providing cheap insurance for old cars. As the Supreme Court of Canada noted in Consolidated Bathhurst Export Ltd. v. Mutual Boiler & Machinery Insurance Co., [1980] 1 S.C.R. 888 at 902:

the courts should be loath to support a construction which would...enable...the insured to achieve a recovery which could neither be sensibly sought nor anticipated at the time of the contract.



[36] In reaching the conclusion that there is a requirement of continuing maintenance, I have taken into account the fact that Form MV 1425 was not amended until February 2000 to add words that refer to continuing maintenance. The change was made not so as to change the requirement, but rather to make it perfectly clear that it was a requirement.

c. Application of the Facts

Plaintiffs’ Position

[37] The plaintiffs argue that, on the facts, many of the problems that are of concern to ICBC arose after the insurance contract was renewed in August 1999. For example, Christopher Madden said that the right arm rest was removed in September 1999, and a friend poked out the interior dome light after August 1999. He noticed in September 1999 that someone had pried off an insignia and he tried to find a replacement. He said that the door lock release knob was broken in October 1999 and he was looking for a replacement. He also testified that the tear in the shifter boot was caused by the collisions.

[38] They argue that the vehicle was restored to a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer’s specifications. They provided evidence as to a description of the vehicle provided by General Motors. The options are described this way:

WINDSHIELD GLASS – TINTED

SEAT BELTS FRT W/RETRACTOR

FRONT BUCKET SEATS – FORMED

EXTERIOR SOFT TRIM ROOF COVER

WIPER SYSTEM WINDSHIELD ELECTRIC

H.D. FRT. & RR SUSPENSION (VAR 1)

REAR AXLE – POSITRACTION

VACUUM POWER BRAKES

300 CU. IN. V8

4-SPEED TRANSMISSION – WIDE RATIO 2.52 FIRST GR.

DUAL EXHAUST

HYDRAULIC STEERING

7.75-14-4 PR TIRE – HWY – W/WALL

LAMPS BACKUP

ELECTRIC CLOCK

RADIO - PUSHBUTTON



[39] They argue that the vehicle had stock parts as required by those specifications. It is at least 25 years old. Due to the fact that the vehicle has positraction, which is rare, that in and of itself makes it of collectible value. This, they say, is supported by the evidence of ICBC’s own expert, Mr. Richard Partons.

[40] Therefore, they argue, even if there was a continuing duty to maintain the vehicle, they did so. Christopher Madden says that most of the maintenance receipts were lost because he was travelling and moving a lot. He replaced the bucket seats and the headliner. He said that the photographs provided as a result of the random check were returned to him and he lost them.

Decision

[41] I have already concluded that the requirements found in Forms MV 1425 and MV 1425A in existence at the time of the application in 1995 inform the meaning of collector vehicle. I described the condition of the vehicle in the "Introduction." The vehicle was not in the condition required by the forms and was therefore not a collector vehicle.

[42] I do not accept the evidence of Christopher Madden that the majority of the problems with the vehicle at the time of the collisions occurred after the renewal in August 1999. It is more likely than not that the vehicle was in that state at the time of the renewal. I reach this conclusion for several reasons.

[43] It is unlikely that the amount of damage present occurred solely in the three months and eight days after the insurance was renewed. The absence of regular maintenance and repair bills since 1995 is also telling. In all of the circumstances, the explanation that the bills were lost in the moves made by him is unconvincing. Nor do I accept the evidence that he lost the photographs submitted in 1998. It is more likely than not that the old photos were simply resubmitted. It is also unlikely that the tear in the shifter boot was caused by the collisions.

[44] I conclude that the condition of the vehicle was allowed to deteriorate after it was admitted into the Collector Vehicle Program in 1995. As a result, Christopher Madden misrepresented the state of the vehicle in his renewal application in August 1999.

[45] Even if the damage did occur after that, by not repairing it, he did not maintain the vehicle as a collector vehicle. The plaintiffs knew about the obligation to maintain the vehicle as a collector vehicle because they were advised of the obligation not only in the initial letter advising them that the vehicle had been accepted into the Program but also in the "random check" correspondence. The letter from ICBC dated November 7, 1997 states, in part, as follows:

In order to avoid the need for owners of collector vehicles having to have their vehicles approved on an annual basis, the Corporation conducts random reviews of vehicles that have been in the Collector Vehicle Program for several years. This review is done to confirm that vehicles with collector plates are being maintained in excellent, factory stock condition.



[my emphasis]



[46] In reaching the conclusion that the vehicle was not maintained as a collector vehicle, I have not overlooked the evidence of Mr. Partons as to the significance of positraction. However, I am not satisfied that the fact that the vehicle had positraction is sufficient to bring it within the definition of a collector vehicle.

d. Nature of the Breach

[47] The distinctions between conditions and warranties in contract law, generally, and insurance law, specifically, is quite complicated. However, according to C. Brown and J. Menezes, Insurance Law in Canada, vol. 1 looseleaf (Toronto: Carswell) at p. 7-14, the result of a failure to satisfy both warranties and conditions is the same: coverage is lost even if the particular instance of fault had nothing to do with the loss.

[48] It is my view that a detailed discussion of the technical distinctions between warranties and conditions or terms is unnecessary. It is sufficient to say that the plaintiffs have breached their insurance contract. They have failed to maintain the vehicle as a collector vehicle, and the usage restrictions have been violated. In the result, they forfeit their claims for the December 4, 1999 accident, and ICBC is entitled to reimbursement: ss. 19(1) and 21(6) of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle Act) and s. 55 of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle Act) Revised Regulation (1984).

2. OWNING/LEASING A GENERAL TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE

[49] The requirement that the plaintiffs own or lease a general transportation vehicle came into effect in 1994. When Christopher Madden applied for collector vehicle status in 1995, an old form was used by the broker. ICBC concedes that the form did not include this requirement.

[50] However, the August 26, 1999 Owner’s Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle License, signed by Christopher Madden, states that another licensed non-collector vehicle must be owned or leased, or a company assigned non-collector motor vehicle must be used for general transportation.

[51] Christopher Madden did not have such a vehicle from June 22, 1999 to October 19, 1999 and therefore violated the contractual usage restriction. I do not agree with the plaintiffs’ argument that this provision was complied with because Barry Madden owned a general transportation vehicle. Christopher Madden, the signatory to the contract and the person using the Skylark, did not have a general transportation vehicle. He did not tender evidence that he had access to or consent to use his father’s vehicle.

[52] For the reasons indicated above, it is not necessary to decide whether this amounts to a breach of a warranty. It is a breach of a term of the contract.

3. VEHICLE USE

[53] The August 26, 1999 Owner’s Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle License states that the vehicle is to be used for pleasure purposes, that it is not to be driven to or from work or school, and as noted above, that the insured must own or lease a general transportation vehicle. Division 22A.01(1)(c) of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations also defines “collector motor vehicle” as a vehicle that is used solely for pleasure purposes and not for travel to and from work or school.

[54] Because there is a requirement to own or lease a general transportation vehicle, pleasure use, as it relates to collector vehicles, does not include general transportation use. The evidence of the state of the vehicle, including the wear and tear and the items such as gas receipts found in the vehicle, indicates that Christopher Madden was using the Skylark as a general transportation vehicle. He therefore violated the pleasure use provision.

[55] Though the circumstances with respect to use of the vehicle to drive to and from work are suspicious, I am unable to conclude on a balance of probabilities that Christopher Madden did so. While the vehicle was used in a film, and benefits were received because Sentinel Films replaced the engine mount and did a tune up, the evidence is insufficient to prove that this happened after the renewal in August 1999.

[56] The plaintiffs submit that even if the court finds that Christopher Madden was not driving for pleasure, the court is bound by Hudson v. I.C.B.C. (1991), 57 B.C.L.R. (2d) 183, a decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. In Hudson, the pleasure use term provided an exception that allowed the insured to drive to and from work four days a month. The court concluded that this was not a warranty. The term was descriptive of the risk. The policy was not void in its entirety. Rather, the vehicle was not covered by insurance only while the use was a forbidden one: Hudson at 186.

[57] I disagree with the plaintiffs that the pleasure use only requirement in this case constitutes a representation descriptive of the risk. According to MacGillivray on Insurance Law, cited above, at para. 10-73, if the alteration of the contract’s term increases the risk assumed by the insurer, that term should be construed as a warranty rather than a suspension of the risk:

Thus if a car were to be described as “warranted no competition work or racing”, that description of user might fairly be classified as a warranty, since the vehicle would quite probably be in a mechanically weaker state after a spell of rallying or racing and the likelihood of an accident subsequently would be increased.



[58] The reason the pleasure use only vehicle provision is included in the policy in the case of collector vehicles is to ensure that a collector vehicle is used on a limited basis and the licensed non-collector motor vehicle is the general use vehicle. Non-pleasure use of the vehicle increases usage, and therefore increases the risk of loss. Also, unlike the situation in Hudson, there are no relaxations allowing for non-pleasure use in the contract. I therefore conclude that Hudson is distinguishable, and that the provision does not constitute a representation descriptive of the risk.

[59] I therefore find that in breaching the pleasure use only requirements, the plaintiffs acted contrary to s. 19(1)(c) of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act and ss. 55(2)(a) and 55(5) of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act Revised Regulation (1984).

CONCLUSION

[60] The plaintiffs' claim is dismissed. The defendant is entitled to judgment in the amount of $23,540.67. The defendant is entitled to costs at Scale 3.

“D.J. Martinson, J.”
The Honourable Madam Justice D.J. Martinson"

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, a very informative read. Okay, I didn't read it all, as it was very long (I will eventually ) The no rust, missing trim issues is hard to determine without pictures. But these issues are secondary to the main points, so I'm inclined to side with ICBC on this one.

> Christopher Madden did not have another insured non-collector vehicle.
> ICBC says there is evidence that the vehicle was being driven to and from work.

I don't know what the requirements were back in 95 (As I believe this was part of their defense.) But these are the very first two conditions, clearly stated on the application form. Not primary vehicle, Never used for work/school. Simple.

As to rust, I would hope a "Pass" is. To an innocent admirer the rust wouldn't be "visbile". Not, if you got the car up on a ramp and/or did a thorough inspection, there was evidence of rust. Although it would be good to have this clarified.

> ICBC considers that the arguments raised by the plaintiffs challenge the integrity of its Collector Vehicle Program.

I have to agree. IANAL, but I think these guys were taking the piss. As long as you stick by the rules, and it might be a good idea to review these now and again the ICBC Collector Vehicle Program is awesome!

Totally original 87 Graduate, with hardly noticeable crusting issues. ICBC eh?
skittletop is offline  
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