Canada: Case Summary: Dion v Security National Insurance Company

Last Updated: January 3 2019
Article by Field LLP


A claim for diminished value of a vehicle repaired after an accident is not covered under Section C of the Alberta Standard Auto Policy, SPF No. 1.

Dion v Security National Insurance Company, 2018 ABPC 242


The Plaintiff Dion was insured by the Defendant, Security National Insurance Company (SNIC) pursuant to an Alberta Standard Automobile Policy S.P.F. No. 1, which provided insurance coverage to the Dion for a 2008 Cadillac Escalade SUV. Dion, while driving the insured vehicle, was involved in a collision with a moose on September 6, 2015, between Fox Creek and Valleyview, Alberta. Dion's vehicle was damaged, and SNIC undertook and paid for repairs to the vehicle. Dion claimed that the repairs done to the vehicle were inadequate, and also claimed that he had suffered additional loss by way of diminished value of his vehicle as a result of it having been involved in this accident. He also claimed for additional mileage, other travel expenses and car rental expenses.

SNIC brought an application for summary dismissal of the claim for diminished value. They argued that the policy did not provide coverage for diminished value of the SUV. Specifically, they relied on Statutory Condition 4(5) which provides as follows:

The Insurer shall not be liable for more than the actual cash value of the automobile at the time any loss or damage occurs, and the loss or damage shall be ascertained or estimated according to that actual cash value with proper deduction for depreciation, however caused, and shall not exceed the amount that it would cost to repair or replace the automobile, or any part thereof, with material of like kind and quality ...

The issue was as to whether or not a claim for diminished value was an insured loss under Section C of the SPF No. 1.

SNIC also sought to pre-emptively prevent Dion's expert on diminished value (Grieve) from being qualified to give expert evidence, arguing that his evidence had been not been accepted in previous cases and that he had a financial interest in the outcome of the case.

HELD: For the Defendant Insurer; claim for diminished value summarily dismissed.

The Court held that a claim for diminished value of a vehicle repaired after a collision is excluded from coverage under Section C of the SPF No. 1:

[25] I agree with the court in Taylor, that even if this diminished value claim were capable of being proven, such a loss is not covered by the subject policy of insurance as it is excluded by those words in Statutory Condition 4(5), that the liability of the insurer "shall not exceed the amount that it would cost to repair or replace the automobile, or any part thereof, with material of like kind and quality". A claim for diminished value is a claim for additional depreciation arising from the accident and not a claim relating to the actual cash value of the vehicle immediately before the accident or the cost of repairs. Therefore, it is not a claim that can be made against a party's own insurer pursuant to SECTION C of the Alberta Standard Automobile Policy S.P.F. No. 1. Regardless of whether any claim for depreciation is related to a value of total loss or repair, the liability of the insurer is capped at an amount not to exceed the cost of repair or replacement of the automobile with material of like kind and quality.
[26] Furthermore, Barbara Billingsley, General Principles of Canadian Insurance Law, 2nd ed (Markham, Ont. : LexisNexis Canada, 2014) at 275, refers to Leger v Royal Insurance Co, 1968 CanLII 733 (NB CA), 70 DLR (2d) 344 (NBCA) and states:
"Canadian courts have made it clear that, regardless of whether an open policy provides coverage on the basis of actual cash value or on the value of replacement cost, a proper valuation of property on the date of loss should not take into account possible future events".

The Court declined to find that Dion's expert was not qualified:

1. The Court found that even if an expert has been disqualified previously, or may have a financial interest in the outcome, that does not meant that an expert should be disqualified from giving evidence in subsequent litigation:

[34] While the Defendant cited previous cases in which Mr. Grieve has been involved where in some instances his expertise regarding diminished value has not been accepted, or he has been found to have had a vested financial interest in the outcome of the decision, those are not issues that have been raised specifically in this application. Simply because an expert may have been disqualified at a previous trial because of a financial interest in the outcome, or because his area of expertise in a particular area was not accepted, does not mean that subsequently that expert should be disqualified in future litigation from giving, or attempting to give, expert opinion evidence. In White Burgess, the issue regarding lack of qualification of the expert was very case specific, which is not the situation in this application. That is to say, in White Burgess, the application was to disqualify the expert in that case. Here, the request is to disqualify this expert in the area of his alleged expertise, that is diminished value.

2. Also, the Court held that a motions judge's role is not to weigh evidence or assess credibility.


Given the relatively small quantum of these claims, the only published cases involving Diminished Value in Alberta have been before the Provincial Court. Judges in these decisions have approached the quantification of Diminished Value in a number of ways. The Hon. Judge Skitsko has awarded damages for diminished value based on a trifurcation of this head of damages into three distinct types of damages:

  1. Inherent diminished value;
  2. Repair-related diminished value; and
  3. Insurance diminished value.

While he has rejected claims for inherent diminished value and insurancerelated diminished value, Judge Skitsko has awarded repair related diminished value in all of his reported decisions. Those repair-related damages have been assessed in each case based on Judge Skitsko's consideration of a plurality of factors, including the severity of the damage done to a vehicle in an accident, the nature of the repairs performed to that vehicle and that vehicle's actual cash value.

In an appeal to one of Judge Skitskos rulings, Justice Crighton explained that Diminished Value is a single head of special damages that must be proven by appropriate expert evidence. Those damages cannot, as is the case with general damages, be calculated by a judge based on a consideration of a plurality of factors.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
17 Oct 2019, Webinar, Calgary, Canada

Business succession is a principal and critical component of personal succession for owners of closely held businesses. This is a long-term, complex process that must be managed with a structured approach. 

22 Oct 2019, Seminar, Edmonton, Canada

The insurance issues surrounding liability for personal injury are always changing. Join lawyers from Field Law's Insurance Practice Group for a free seminar on topics including:

19 Nov 2019, Seminar, Edmonton, Canada

One year after Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use, this panel will discuss the implications in the workplace, society, and to our country overall. The panel will explore all angles of post-legalization and feature experts from workplace safety and standards, a producer, and a licensed retail store.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions