The court considered the interpretation of a term in a contract of insurance to the effect that ‘Warranted Owner and/or Owner’s experienced skipper on board and in charge at all times and one experienced crew member.’, asking whether ‘at all times’ meant 24 hours a day.
Held: The owner’s appeal succeeded. If underwriters wish to have a warranty with draconian consequences they must stipulate for it in clear terms. The clause should be construed contra proferentem, that is against the insurer. Other cases on different clauses were not necessarily good guidance. The principal purpose of the clause was to protect the vessel when two experienced crew members were on board, namely at times when she was manoeuvering. ‘At the time the crew left, the vessel was safely tied up alongside, as must happen very often. Sometimes, no doubt, the generator was left running and sometimes it was not. If the insurer wanted the owner or skipper and an experienced crew member on board whenever the vessel was left with the generator still running it should clearly have so provided. So too, if the insurer wanted them on board whenever the vessel was left, it should clearly have so stipulated. It did not.’
CLarke MR, Maurice Kay LJ, Stanley Burnton LJ
 EWCA Civ 1314, Times 03-Dec-2008,  Lloyd’s Rep IR 149,  2 CLC 756,  2 All ER (Comm) 387,  1 Lloyd’s Rep 225
England and Wales
Cited – F L Schuler AG v Wickman Machine Tools Sales Limited HL 4-Apr-1973
The parties entered an agreement to distribute and sell goods in the UK. They disagreed as to the meaning of a term governing the termination of the distributorship.
Held: The court can not take into account the post-contractual conduct or . .
Cited – Antaios Compania Naviera SA v Salen Rederierna AB (‘the Antaios’) HL 1984
A ship charterer discovered that the bills of lading were incorrect, but delayed withdrawal from the charter for 13 days. They now sought leave to appeal the arbitration award against them.
Held: Though he deprecated extending the use of the . .
Cited – Charter Reinsurance Co Ltd v Fagan and Others HL 24-May-1996
The re-insurers appealed against a finding that they were liable to make payment under a contract which required them to pay ‘sums actually paid.’ They said that the company having become insolvent, no payment would in fact be made.
Held: The . .
Cited – Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society HL 19-Jun-1997
Account taken of circumstances wihout ambiguity
The respondent gave advice on home income plans. The individual claimants had assigned their initial claims to the scheme, but later sought also to have their mortgages in favour of the respondent set aside.
Held: Investors having once . .
Cited – Brownsville Holdings Ltd v Adamjee Insurance Co Ltd (‘The Milasan’) 2000
A 90 foot motor yacht sank in calm weather in the course of a voyage from Piraeus to Sardinia with a crew of three: a skipper, an engineer and a deckhand.
Held: The owner’s insurance claim failed. There had been a breach of warranty in these . .
Cited – Sirius International Insurance Company (Publ) v FAI General Insurance Limited and others HL 2-Dec-2004
The appellant had taken certain insurance risks on behalf of the respondents, subject to banking indemnities. Disputes arose and were settled under a Tomlin order, which was now itself subject to challenge.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The . .
Cited – Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA v Ali, Khan and others (No 1); BCCI v Ali HL 1-Mar-2001
Cere Needed Releasing Future Claims
A compromise agreement which appeared to claim to settle all outstanding claims between the employee and employer, did not prevent the employee later claiming for stigma losses where, at the time of the agreement, the circumstances which might lead . .
Cited – GE Frankona Reinsurance Ltd v CMM Trust No.1400 (the ‘Newfoundland Explorer’) AdCt 22-Mar-2006
The owner sought to claim under his insurance policy. The yacht was, in the policy warranted to be fully crewed at all times. The owner had left the boat to return a few hours later when it was found on fire.
Held: The insurance claim failed. . .
Cited – Horwood and Others v Land of Leather Ltd and Others ComC 18-Mar-2010
The claimants sought to claim for personal injuries against the defendant company, now in administration, and their insurers using the 1930 Act. The insurers said they were not liable to indemnify the company. The parties disputed the standing of an . .
Cited – AC Ward and Son v Catlin (Five) Ltd and Others CA 10-Sep-2009
The defendant insurers appealed against refusal of summary judgment in its favour in defending a claim under a policy. The claimants premises had been burgled. The insurer said that the claimant had failed to respect warranties given by it as to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.278301