Albion Insurance Co Ltd v Government Insurance Office (NSW): 31 Oct 1969

(High Court of Australia) Insurance – Contribution between insurers – Identity of risk insured – Loss covered by two policies – General nature and purpose of policies different – Extent of rights and liabilities created under policies different – Workers’ compensation policy with indemnity extended to include employer’s common law liability – Motor vehicle third party policy covering employer’s liability to employee arising out of use of motor vehicle.
Kitto J said: ‘ ‘a principle applicable at law no less than in equity, is that persons who are under co-ordinate liabilities to make good one loss (eg sureties liable to make good a failure to pay the one debt) must share the burden pro rata’: the object being, as Hamilton J stated in American Surety Co of New York v Wrightson (1910) 103 LT 663: ‘to put people who have commonly guaranteed or commonly insured in the same position as if the principal creditor or the assured had pursued his remedies rateably among them instead of doing as he is entitled to do, exhausting them to suit himself against one or other of them.”


Barwick CJ, McTiernan, Kitto, Menzies and Windeyer J.


[1969] HCA 55, (1969) 121 CLR 342



Cited by:

CitedThe National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Ltd v HSBC Insurance (UK) Ltd ComC 19-Apr-2010
Gavin Kealey QC DHCJ set out the concept of double insurance: ‘Double insurance arises where the same party is insured with two (or more) insurers in respect of the same interest on the same subject-matter against the same risks. If a loss by a . .
CitedZurich Insurance Plc UK Branch v International Energy Group Ltd SC 20-May-2015
A claim had been made for mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos, but the claim arose in Guernsey. Acknowledging the acute difficultis particular to the evidence in such cases, the House of Lords, in Fairchild. had introduced the Special Rule . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Insurance

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.566217