Canada: Québec : Assurance Responsabilité Professionnelle Et Actes D'inconduite Présumés

Les auteures tiennent à remercier Claudie Bélisle-Desjardins, stagiaire en marketing, pour sa contribution

La Cour du Québec a récemment rejeté un recours récursoire institué par un courtier immobilier contre le Fonds d'assurance responsabilité professionnelle du courtage immobilier (FARCIQ), et ce, afin de leur réclamer les frais d'avocat engagés pour sa défense contre l'Organisme d'autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ). Ce dernier agissait en subrogation contre lui suite à l'indemnisation versée en raison de la fraude qu'il aurait perpétrée envers une ancienne cliente.

En novembre 2010, alors que le demandeur est courtier immobilier et couvert par la police d'assurance responsabilité de la FARCIQ, ce dernier aurait été l'auteur d'un stratagème frauduleux ayant eu pour conséquence de priver sa cliente, une  succession, de la somme de 118 000 $.

Concluant à un cas de fraude et à une manSuvre dolosive, l'OACIQ indemnise la succession et est dès lors subrogée dans les droits de celle-ci pour un montant 35 000 $, soit l'indemnité maximale payable par le Fonds d'indemnisation par réclamation.

À l'automne 2014, suite à plusieurs négociations entre les parties, un règlement hors cour met un terme à la poursuite qu'avait engagée l'OACIQ contre le demandeur pour recouvrir cette somme.

Le demandeur réclame maintenant au FARCIQ la somme de 7 092,15 $, représentant les frais d'avocat qu'il a dû encourir pour sa défense dans l'action subrogatoire instituée par l'OACIQ. Selon le demandeur, la simple possibilité que le tribunal puisse conclure que le demandeur n'a pas commis de fraude ou de faute intentionnelle, n'eut été du règlement hors cour, est suffisante pour obliger la FARCIQ à le défendre.

Tout en réitérant les principes jurisprudentiels applicables à l'obligation de défendre de l'assureur, notamment que les allégations du recours doivent être prises pour avérées, la cour rejette le recours. Elle juge qu'à la lumière des actes de procédures et de la preuve extrinsèque, la nature véritable du recours de l'OAICQ à l'encontre du demandeur est fondée sur la fraude alléguée et les manSuvres dolosives alléguées qui ont fait en sorte que l'OACIQ a décidé d'indemniser la succession. En fait, la cour conclut que si la fraude était prouvée, la situation ne serait pas couverte par la police et que dans le cas contraire, le recours aurait été rejeté. Le juge conclut donc qu'il est impossible que la réclamation soit visée par la garantie du FARCIQ. De plus, de tels gestes se situent en dehors du cadre des activités professionnelles. Ceci est expressément exclu de la garantie d'assurance du FARCIQ et de la portée de la police. Cette situation n'engage donc pas l'obligation de défendre de l'assureur.

Finalement, dans cette décision, la Cour du Québec réaffirme que les fonds d'indemnisation indemnisent dans des cas que l'assurance responsabilité professionnelle ne couvre généralement pas, soit les actes intentionnels d'inconduites. En revanche, l'assurance responsabilité professionnelle offre une protection relativement à l'erreur, l'inadvertance et négligence professionnelle, mais ne couvrira jamais la faute intentionnelle de l'assuré.

En somme, cette décision distingue clairement la protection offerte par le fonds d'assurance responsabilité professionnelle et le fonds d'indemnisation des ordres professionnels et des organismes fonctionnant généralement selon les mêmes principes comme l'OACIQ. De plus, elle rappelle les limites de l'obligation de défendre de l'assureur et les règles applicables à son analyse.

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