Insurance

Piercing the corporate veil

Piercing the corporate veil Northern Tankers (Cyprus) Ltd v Backstrom IN this dispute before the US District Court, the shipowner had obtained an arbitration award against the charterer for damages arising from its repudiation of a five-year time charter. The award was confirmed by the court and judgement was entered against the charterer. But the charterer was insolvent and...

Taylor made for the ILU

DAVID Taylor inherited the longest job title in the City of London when he succeeded the indefatigable Tony Nunn as Government & International Affairs Adviser at the Institute of London Underwriters last August. In fact, for a few short months, Taylor and Nunn worked in harness at the ILU. A formidable partnership, and the two will stay in touch now that Nunn has assumed...

A muddle in marine insurance

THE laws governing marine insurance in the United States have been in a muddle since 1955, in which year the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Wilburn Boat Company v Fireman's Fund (348 US 310). The facts of the case were simple. Fireman's Fund insured Wilburn's houseboat, which was being used on Lake Texoma, an artificial lake between Texas and Oklahoma. The marine...

Reinsurer's requirement of proof

Reinsurer's requirement of proof Commercial Union Assurance Co plc and Others v NRG Victory Reinsurance Ltd, and Skandia International Insurance Corporation and Another v Same THE repercussions of the Exxon Valdez disaster are still being felt in the marine insurance market. These proceedings, before the Court of Appeal in London, involved a dispute between the insurers of the...

Recovery for hijackings under COGSA

PRACTISING marine cargo recovery work can be full of mystery and intrigue. The ever-expanding world of multimodal transportation lends itself to crimes of opportunity, and is becoming an increasingly common source of hijackings. The hijacking of loaded containers usually takes place during the inland transportation of the cargo by truck, either to or from the ports. One of the...

Marine insurance law in Greece

The Greek shipping industry has traditionally had a real need for insurance cover which the local market has not been able to satisfy. Unavoidably, Greek shipowners have sought insurance abroad - mainly in the London insurance market. As a consequence, English marine insurance law and practice, on the basis of which English underwriters provided cover by incorporating the same...

Reform meets resistance in Australia

THE Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has been asked by the federal attorney general to review the Marine Insurance Act 1909. The ALRC is required to report by the end of this year. With regard to the terms of reference the ALRC is required to take into account the following: Any parts of the legislation which restrict competition should only be retained if the benefits...

Israel's heavy burden for carriers

Israel's heavy burden for carriers ZIM Israel Navigation Ltd v The Israel Phoenix Insurance Co Ltd IN this recent case, the Israeli Supreme Court imposed a heavy burden on carriers looking to invoke the defence of perils of the seas in cargo loss and damage claims. The case dealt with a container which was supplied to an exporter for an Atlantic voyage in the month of February...

Extent of duty

Jane Martineau, of UK-based Henmans Solicitors, looks at the extent of the duty of utmost good faith under English law SECTION 17 of the Marine Insurance Act 1906 provides, “A contract of marine insurance is a contract based upon the utmost good faith, and if the utmost good faith be not observed by either party, the contract may be avoided by the other party.” On January 18...

Excessive speed

Excessive speed IN a case recently before the courts in Denmark, a carrier which undertook to perform three voyages from Denmark to Ireland with a total cargo of thirty wind turbines faced damage claims from cargo insurers. The carrier assigned performance of the carriage to a second carrier, who undertook to perform the voyages with a time-chartered vessel. Identical bills of...

Reform or revolution?

IT is universally recognised that one of the finest pieces of legislative drafting anywhere in the world is the English Marine Insurance Act 1906, or the English MIA. The English MIA has been adopted or closely followed in many jurisdictions. For instance, Australia adopted its own version of the English MIA in 1909 (the MIA), which is almost identical to the English MIA....

Costly and painful

Matt Eisele, of Vinson & Elkins, discusses recent developments in reinsurance law US courts have continued to see a significant increase in reinsurance disputes over the past year. Many of these disputes started with the parties' choice of arbitration. Arbitration is generally designed to save costs, and courts are increasingly holding parties to their arbitration...

Erosion of good faith

Erosion of good faith CALLS have been made for legislation to amend Section 17 of the Marine Insurance Act of 1906 to help clarify the principles of utmost good faith under which marine insurance claims are settled. At a recent seminar, held by the UK Association of Average Adjusters, Tim Madge, the association's chairman, said, "The cardinal principal of utmost good faith...

Spotting a fraudster

THE fraudulent claim principle embraces the concept that, where there is a fraudulent claim, the claimant forfeits not only what was known to be untrue but also any genuine part of the claim. The fraud taints the whole. However, a distinction needs to be drawn between cases of fraudulent claims and cases where a fraudulent device is used where the insured believed that he had...

Insurance

A RAFT of measures to ensure its members get Value for Money from lawyers and other consultants is being introduced over the next few months by the UK P&I Club. These measures focus on commercial strategy, standards, performance assessment and budgeting. The club is seeking a consistent approach to early case assessment for contentious claims to ensure a clear, agreed,...