Bristol Alliance Ltd v Williams and Another: QBD 1 Jul 2011

The driver had crashed into the insured’s building causing substantial damage. The court was asked which of the driver’s and building’s insurers should bear the costs. The driver’s insurers said that he had acted deliberately and therefore they were not liable. Though they might even so be liable through the Motor Insurers Bureau, the provisions of that scheme would exempt them where, as here, the claim was under subrogation.
Held: The overriding purpose of the compulsory insurance scheme was to protect innocent third parties. The statute and regulations overrode certain kinds of exceptions which an insurer might place in the policy, but a clause against the causing of damage deliberately was not included. The judgment of Laws LJ in Charlton was to be preferred and the word ‘accident’ and its cognates may be construed so as to include the insured’s own criminal or deliberate acts.

Tugendhat J
[2011] EWHC 1657 (QB)
Road Traffic Act 1988 151, The Motor Vehicles (Third Party Risks) Regulations 1972
England and Wales
CitedBeresford v Royal Insurance Co Ltd HL 1938
The forfeiture rule was to be applied in a case involving suicide. An insured may not recover under a policy of insurance in respect of loss intentionally caused by his own criminal or tortious act, however clearly the wording of the policy may . .
CitedZurich General Accident and Liability Insurance Co Ltd v Morrison 1942
The statutory requirement for compulsory insurance in the Road Traffic Act 1930 was of little value if it was open to insurers to freely exclude liability for common risks. . .
CitedHardy v Motor Insurers’ Bureau CA 1964
The court was asked whether insurance pursuant to the Road Traffic Act 1960 would provide valid cover for the benefit of a third party injured by deliberately criminal conduct on the part of the driver.
Held: Diplock LJ said: ‘The rule of law . .
CitedGardner v Moore HL 1984
The uninsured first defendant deliberately drove a car at the plaintiff who was walking on the pavement, and thus caused serious injuries. The MIB accepted that the trial judge was bound by Hardy to declare that the Bureau was bound to indemnify the . .
CitedChurchill Insurance v Charlton CA 2-Feb-2001
The victim of an unlawful act of a driver off-road sought damages from another driver and his insurers. The insurers refused to pay.
Held: There is a balance to be found between the statutory purpose of compulsory motor insurance and the . .
CitedCriminal proceedings against Ruiz Bernaldez ECJ 28-Mar-1996
Europa In the preliminary-ruling procedure under Article 177 of the Treaty, it is for the national courts alone, before which the proceedings are pending and which must assume responsibility for the judgment to . .
CitedWragg and Another v Partco Group Ltd UGC Ltd CA 1-May-2002
A claim was made against directors of a company involved in a takeover, for failure to make proper disclosure. The case involved also other issues. The defendants appealed against a refusal to strike out the claim.
Held: The rules made . .
CitedEB v France ECHR 30-Sep-2009
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Insurance

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.441423