McMminn v McMinn and Another: QBD 11 Apr 2006

The claimant had been severely injured in a car crash when his younger brother was driving. The driver did not have the owner’s permission to drive, and the insurer sought to avoid laibility.
Held: ‘insurers do not have to prove that the injured passenger actually believed that the vehicle had been stolen or unlawfully taken. What has to be proved is that the injured passenger had the information . . . which would have afforded him good reasons for believing that the vehicle had been stolen or unlawfully taken had he applied his mind to the topic. Shutting one’s eyes to the obvious is therefore enough, provided that it would indeed have been obvious to the injured passenger if he had thought about it. ‘ because of the knowledge found as a fact in the claimant of the circumstances, the insurer could properly refuse its indemnity.


Keith J


[2006] EWHC 827 (QB), Times 02-May-2006




Road Traffic Act 1988 151 145, Second EEC Motor Insurance Directive 84/5/EEC


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Phipps CACD 1970
Where a person has been given permission by the owner of a motor vehicle to take and use it for a particular purpose, but on completion of that purpose fails to return it and thereafter uses it without any reasonable belief that the owner would . .
CitedWhite v White and The Motor Insurers Bureau HL 1-Mar-2001
The requirements as to the extent of knowledge in the mind of a passenger sufficient to defeat a claim against the Motor Insurers Bureau, of the driver’s lack of insurance, was actual knowledge. The rules implemented a European Directive which . .
CitedMcNight v Davies 1974
The court considered whether a driver had teken a vehicle without the owners consent, and having had that consent for one purpose, continued to use the car beyond that purpose: ‘[n]ot every brief, unauthorised diversion from his proper route by an . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insurance, Personal injury

Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.240426