Super Chem Products Limited v American Life and General Insurance Company Limited and Others: PC 12 Jan 2004

PC (Trinidad and Tobago) A fire occurred at premises in which the stock was insured under two policies. Both insurers denied the claims alleging arson, and that it was out of time. The claimant said that the insurer having argued for fraud, had repudiated the contract and couild not therefore now rely upon a clause within it as a second string defence.
Held: In a fire insurance context, despite a repudiatory breach of contract, obligations under the contract survive until the breach is accepted by the innocent party as terminating the contract. Jureidini is not an authoritative decision on insurance law or general contract law. The insurers were not precluded from relying upon the clause even though fraud might have been alleged. No waiver or estoppel had been established simply by negotiating. There had been no agreement to extend the time bar.
PC Lord Steyn: ‘Contract law cannot and does not prevent an insurer from resisting a claim on alternative bases, one involving an allegation of fraud and the other breaches of policy conditions.’
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Sir Kenneth Keith
[2004] UKPC 2, Times 28-Jan-2004, [2004] 2 All ER 358
Bailii, PC, PC, PC
England and Wales
RestrictedJureidini v National British and Irish Millers Insurance Company Limited HL 1915
An insurance company disputed liability of a claim arising out of a fire, alleging fraud and arson. These allegations were not sustained. The insurer then sought to resist liability on the basis that, by litigating, the insured was in breach of an . .
CitedSanderson and Son v Armour and Co, Ltd HL 8-May-1922
A quantity of American storage eggs of a specified brand were bought, c.i.f., to Glasgow and/or Liverpool to be delivered in three equal instalments, payment to be cash against documents on arrival of the goods. The buyers accepted the documents . .
CitedWoodall v Pearl Assurance Co Ltd CA 1919
. .
CitedHeyman v Darwins Limited HL 1942
An arbitration clause will survive a repudiatory breach: ‘I agree with the Lord Chancellor in thinking that the true ground of the decision in Jureidini v National British and Irish Millers Insurance Co Ltd was the narrowness of the field of . .
CitedPort Jackson Stevedoring Pty Ltd v Salmond and Spraggon (Australia) Pty Ltd; The New York Star PC 1980
A question arose, in the context of dispute between a consignee of goods and stevedores, whether the latter could rely on a time bar. It was argued that because of the fundamental nature of the breach, the stevedore had deprived itself of the . .
CitedPhoto Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd HL 14-Feb-1980
Interpretation of Exclusion Clauses
The plaintiffs had contracted with the defendants for the provision of a night patrol service for their factory. The perils the parties had in mind were fire and theft. A patrol man deliberately lit a fire which burned down the factory. It was an . .
CitedSuisse Atlantique Societe d’Armement Maritime SA v NV Rotterdamsche Kolen Centrale HL 1966
No magic in the words “fundamental breach”
There is no rule of law which prevents parties to a contract agreeing to limit their respective liabilities. It is a question of the construction of the particular clause as to whether it applies to a fundamental breach or not. The court doubted the . .
CitedLondon Borough of Hillingdon v ARC Limited (No 2) CA 16-Jun-2000
The council entered upon land belonging to the company in accordance with the compulsory purchase procedures in 1982, but the company did not bring its claim for compensation until 1992. The council said the were out of time.
Held: Section 9 . .
CitedWoodhouse AC Israel Cocoa Ltd SA v Nigerian Produce Marketing Co Ltd HL 1972
To found a promissory estoppel there has to be a clear and unequivocal representation as to the intended actions of the defendant.
Lord Hailsham LC reiterated the proposition derived from Low v Bouverie that in order to give rise to an . .
CitedAce Insurance Sa-Nv v Surendranath Seechurn CA 6-Feb-2002
The claimant sought payment under an insurance policy for his permanent disability. The judge had found that the defendant insurers had indicated a readiness to continue negotiations beyond the limitation period, and that they would apply for a stay . .

Cited by:
CitedDiab v Regent Insurance Company Ltd PC 19-Jun-2006
(Belize) The appellant’s premises were destroyed by fire. The insurer respondents refused payment, saying that the claimant had delayed notification, had stored ammunition, and had started the fire himself.
Held: Lord Scott referered to his . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 September 2021; Ref: scu.192643