Bevan v. Gartside Marine Engines Ltd. et al.

In Marine Insurance on (Updated )

This was an action against a repairer and an insurer under an all risks policy for damage caused when a transmission overheated. The Plaintiff alleged that the repairer had been negligent in performing prior repairs to the trolling valve control linkage. The Plaintiff further alleged that the damage was covered by his all risks policy. The repairer denied negligence and the insurer defended on the basis of an exclusion in the policy excluding liability for damage caused by wear and tear and mechanical breakdown. The Court found that there could have been multiple causes of the transmission failure including pre-existing damage, wear and tear and improper use of the trolling gear by the Plaintiff or previous owners. As a result, the Court held that negligence on the part of the repairer had not been proven. With respect to the claim against the insurer, the Court noted that there are limits to the coverage afforded by an all risks policy and that the Plaintiff was required to prove that the cause of the transmission failure "was due to a casualty". The Court held that the Plaintiff had not proven that the loss was due to a casualty and coverage was denied.