Richardson v Army, Navy, & General Assurance Association

Judgment Date14 March 1924
Date14 March 1924
Docket Number(1924. No. 743.)
CourtKing's Bench Division (Irish Free State)
Richardson v. Army, Navy, & General Assurance Assoc.
(1924. No. 743.)

K. B. Div. (I. F. S.)

Practice - Service of writ of summons out of the jurisdiction - Contract made in Ireland - Insurance policy - Fraud going to root of contract - Arbitration - Condition precedent - Motion to stay action.

An insurance policy contained (inter alia) the following clauses:—"7. Any material misrepresentation or concealment of or omission to state any circumstance or to give any information material to be known for estimating the risk or the rate of premium or in respect of any claim by or on behalf of the insured shall render this policy absolutely void, and all premiums thereon shall be forfeited to the Association." "12. If any difference or dispute of any kind whatsoever shall arise between the insured or his legal personal representatives and the Association in respect of this policy, or in respect of any claim or of any matter or thing or liability arising or alleged to have arisen hereunder or otherwise connected herewith, directly or indirectly, the same shall be referred to arbitration, in accordance with the provisions of 'The Arbitration Act, 1889,' or any Act or Acts amending that Act. The due observance and fulfilment of the provisions and conditions of this policy shall be a condition precedent to any liability of the Association under this policy; and the hearing of any dispute so referred to arbitration shall be heard at some place within a radius of three miles of the head office of the Association in London."

The insured, a plaintiff in an intended action against the insurers, on foot of the policy was given liberty to issue and serve the writ out of the jurisdiction. The insurers applied to set aside the order on the ground that the contract was not made within the jurisdiction of the Court, and, alternatively, to stay the action pending the decision of the matter in dispute by arbitration. The insurers further alleged that material misrepresentations were made by the insured in his proposal, and that consequently the policy was void under clause 7, and that therefore a dispute had arisen which, under clause 12, should be referred to arbitration.

Held, that (1) on the facts of the case the contract was made within the jurisdiction; (2) the question of misrepresentation was within the arbitration clause in the policy; but there being no express provision making the holding of an arbitration a condition precedent to an action, and an important question of law being involved, viz., whether the Arbitration Act, 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 49), can be made applicable to an Irish contract, the Court, in the exercise of its discretion, refused to stay the action.

The question whether the Arbitration Act, 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 49), can be made applicable to an Irish contract was considered, but not decided.

Motion to set aside an order of Mr. Justice Samuels, dated 11th January, 1924, giving leave to serve the writ in this case in England. The defendants asked to have the order set aside on the ground that the contract was not made within the jurisdiction of the Court; and, in the alternative, for an order staying the action pending the decision of the matter in dispute by arbitration, in the manner provided for by the contract.

The plaintiff was a merchant, carrying on business in the City of Dublin, and the defendants were an insurance company, having their head office in London.

On the 20th June, 1922, the plaintiff was supplied by Messrs. Allen V. Kidd & Co., Ltd., who are insurance brokers, carrying on business at 14 Dawson Street, Dublin, with a proposal form for what is known as the "Open Road Motor Car Policy." The plaintiff filled up the form, specifying the make of the car sought to be insured as a Ford truck, value for £300, and giving other particulars, as required by the form; and he signed a declaration at the foot of the form to the effect that the particulars stated were true, and that the declaration and answers should be the basis of the contract between him and the association. And he further agreed that the liability of the association was not to commence until the acceptance of the proposal had been formally intimated by the association and the premium paid and accepted. Messrs. Kidd & Co. having received the proposal, gave the plaintiff a covering note on behalf of the association, and forwarded the proposal to London in the usual course of business. The defendants accordingly, on the 21st June, 1922, executed the policy, which followed the open road policy, with, however, three modifications. The plaintiff subsequently paid the premium to Messrs. Kidd & Co. in Dublin.

Molony C.J., having stated the facts as above set out, continued:—

It has been contended that the contract was complete upon the execution of the policy in London; but this view is not correct, because, according to the policy itself (following in this respect the proposal), the risk does not commence until payment of the premium by the assured to the association.

The company accepted the risk subject to the payment of the premium by executing and sending the policy to Messrs. Kidd & Co., Ltd., and the latter firm thereupon transmitted the policy to the plaintiff, who paid the premium to Messrs. Kidd & Co., Ltd., and obtained from them a receipt for the amount. It has been contended on behalf of the defendants that Messrs Kidd & Co. were in no sense agents of the defendants in the matter for the purpose of soliciting business; but it is admitted in the affidavit of Mr. Lawton, the managing director of the defendant...

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2 cases
  • Kennedy v London Express Newspapers, Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court (Irish Free State)
    • 26 March 1931
    ...JJ. (1) [1915] A. C. 499. (2) [1917] 2 K. B. 433. (3) [1893] 1 Q. B. 256. (4) 43 Ir. L. T. R. 277. (5) 48 Ir. L. T. R. 77. (6) [1924] 2 I. R. 96. (1) [1902] A. C. 446. (2) [1894] A. C. 202. (3) [1903] 1 K. B. 249. (4) 8 Ch. D. 26. (5) [1913] P. 130. (6) [1909] 1 Ch. 413. (7) 9 Q.B.D. 188. (......
  • Richardson v Army, Navy, & General Assurance Association
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Irish Free State)
    • Invalid date

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