Double insurance—construction contracts
Produced in partnership with Fisher Scoggins Waters LLP
Double insurance—construction contracts

The following Construction guidance note Produced in partnership with Fisher Scoggins Waters LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Double insurance—construction contracts
  • Introduction
  • Key elements of double insurance
  • Policy conditions relating to double insurance
  • Double insurance arising out of construction contracts
  • Petrofina (UK) Ltd v Magnaload Ltd
  • National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Ltd v HSBC Insurance (UK) Ltd

Introduction

What is double insurance?

Double insurance is where the same party is insured under two or more policies in respect of the same subject-matter (whether that be property or liability) against the same risks.

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The scope of the policies need not be exactly the same - for example there may be an overlap in cover between an employer’s liability policy and a fleet policy. See Weddell v Road Transport & General.

Key elements of double insurance

(1) The Same Insured

At or before the time of loss the same insured must have become entitled to the benefit of whole or part of both policies and thereby be in a position to claim.

(2) The Same Subject-Matter (whether property or liability)

The policies must cover the same subject-matter. See Godin v London Assurance Company.

(3) The Same Risk

At least a substantial part of the same risk has to be covered by both policies. See Australian Agricultural Co v Saunders.

(4) The Same Interest

In addition to the need for the insurance to cover to the same subject-matter and the same risk, the policies also need to cover the same interest. What matters is the insured’s ‘interest’ in the subject-matter. Where parties have differing interests in the same subject-matter and each insured has its own interest there is no double insurance. See