Fire Insurance in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Post Office v Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 18 January 1967

    It seems to me that the insured only acquires a right to sue for the money when his liability to the injured person has been established so as to give rise to a right of indemnity. His liability to the injured person must be ascertained and determined to exist, either by judgment of the Court or by an award in an arbitration or by agreement. Until thatis done, the right to an indemnity does not arise.

    Under the section it is clear to me that the injured person cannot sue the Insurance Company except in such circumstances as the insured himself could have sued the Insurance Company. The insured could only have sued for an indemnity when his liability to the third person was established and the amount of the loss ascertained. In some circumstances the insured might sue earlier for a declaration, e.g. if the insured company were repudiating the policy for some reason.

    It is quiteunheard of in practice for any assured to sue his insurers in a money claim when the actual loss against which he wishes to be indemnified has not been ascertained, I have never heard of such an action and there is nothing in law that makes such an action possible.

  • Gurtner v Circuit
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 14 December 1967

    I prefer to give a wide interpretation to the rule, as Lord Esher, Master of the Rolls, did in Byrne v. Brown (1889) 22 Queen's Bench Division, p. 657. It seems to me that when two parties are in dispute in an action at law, and the determination of that dispute will directly affect a third person in his legal rights or in his pocket, in that he will be bound to foot the bill, then the Court in its discretion nay allow him to be added as a party on such terns as it thinks fit.

  • Yorkshire Dale Steamship Company Ltd v Minister of War Transport; The Coxwold
    • House of Lords
    • 19 May 1942

    This choice of the real or efficient cause from out of the whole complex of the facts must be made by applying commonsense standards. Causation is to be understood as the man in the street, and not as either the scientist or the metaphysician, would understand it. Cause here means what a business or seafaring man would take to be the cause without too microscopic analysis but on a broad view. The question always is what is the cause, not merely what is a cause.

  • Stovin and Another v Norfolk County Council
    • House of Lords
    • 24 July 1996

    But there must be better ways of doing this than by compensating insurance companies out of public funds. And while premiums no doubt take into account the existence of the fire brigade and the likelihood that it will arrive swiftly upon the scene, it is not clear that they would be very different merely because no compensation was paid in the rare cases in which the fire authority negligently failed to perform its public duty.

  • Harbutt's ‘Plasticine’Harbutt's Ltd v Wayne Tank and Pump Company Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 05 December 1969

    This reasoning does not apply when the plaintiff has not been kept out of his money but has in fact been indemnified by an insurance company. I do not think the plaintiff should recover interest for himself on the money when he has not been kept out of it.

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Books & Journal Articles
    • Nbr. 80-12, October 1980
    • Industrial Management & Data Systems
    • 16-16
    OVER £355 million went up in flames in 1979 in Great Britain — and that was just direct damage; many more millions of pounds went in lost production, profits and exports.
    • Nbr. 3-4, April 1995
    • Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
    • 391-398
    The Defendants, two associated companies, acted as underwriting agents for the Plaintiff under various underwriting agency agreements. The agreements were terminated and ceased to operate for furth...
  • Office buildings in Germany. The influence of the employment structure on market selection by institutional investors
    • Nbr. 31-5, August 2013
    • Journal of Property Investment & Finance
    • 402-417
    Purpose: According to normative‐rational investment decision models, investors who seek office buildings should select markets which show high employment numbers in office related sectors such as F...
    ...... employment numbers in office related sectors suchas Finance, Insurance, Real Estate (FIRE) and Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS). ......
  • Disaster management in libraries
    • Nbr. 17-3, May 1996
    • Library Management
    • 5-12
    Presents the preliminary findings of a one‐year British Library Research and Development Department‐funded project looking at disaster management in British libraries. Based on visits to some 30 or...
    ...... following adisaster, and also the need to investigate insurance coverand to consider the installation of fire detection andsuppression ... article is based on a paper given by Paul Edento the South Wiltshire Fire Liaison Group’sNational Fire Safety Week Symposium on “Docu-ment ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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