Hayward v Norwich Union Insurance: CA 22 Feb 2001

An insurance policy which exempted the company from liability when a car was stolen was phrased to apply ‘while the keys had been left in the car’ The claimant had been subject to a robbery whilst in the car, and been obliged to get out. The car was stolen. The court at first instance had construed the clause as including a requirement that the car be unattended. On appeal it was held that there was no possibility of importing such a condition. The clause was clear and had a clear and sensible purpose. . . . insurance policies are contracts to which the general rules of construction of contracts apply and that the starting point is that words are to be given their ordinary and natural meaning as understood from the background against which the words were used or the meaning which the document would convey to the reasonable man.’


Peter Gibson LJ


Times 08-Mar-2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 243, [2001] Lloyd’s Rep IR 410




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMalekout v Allied Dunbar Assurance Plc CA 3-Feb-2004
The claimant appealed refusal of his claim under a Personal Retirement Policy. The issue was as to his right to a waiver of contributions benefit from inception or at all. He had been a dentist, but suffered an injury which became progressively more . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insurance, Consumer, Road Traffic

Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.135558