Coen v Employers Liability Assurance Corporation Ltd

Judgment Date24 May 1962
Date24 May 1962
Docket Number(1959. No. 1288 P.)
CourtHigh Court
Employers Liability Assurance Corporation Ltd

Condition of contract that disputes be referred to arbitration - Condition precedent to repudiation of contract by insurers -Insurable interest - Extent of cover.

The plaintiff entered into a contract of insurance with the defendants in relation to the plaintiff's liability in damages arising from injuries caused by the driving of a motor car, the property of the plaintiff. A passenger in the plaintiff's motor car recovered judgment for damages for personal injuries suffered by him as a result of an accident in which the plaintiff's car was involved. The defendants disclaimed liability to indemnify the plaintiff in respect of the damages awarded to the passenger on the grounds: 1, that the injury to passengers was not covered by the policy of insurance; 2, that the insured had not an insurable interest in that he was not the owner of the vehicle at material times. The contract of insurance entered into between the parties contained a condition that all disputes arising under the policy should be referred to arbitration and that if the insurers should disclaim liability to indemnify the insured in respect of any claim under the policy and such claim should not be referred to arbitration within twelve months from the date of such disclaimer, then the claim should, for all purposes, be deemed to have been abandoned and should not thereafter be recoverable under the contract. The plaintiff did not refer the matters in dispute or the disclaimer to arbitration, but instituted proceedings in the High Court seeking a declaration that the defendants were liable to indemnify him under...

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