Motorcare Warranties ("MW") acted as the insurer's agent in selling mechanical breakdown insurance. The insurer claimed against MW and a number of individuals involved in the company for outstanding premiums under the terms of four separate slips under which MW failed to abide by the strict terms of the slips in respect of business underwritten and rates for such business. MW maintained that an established practice over a course of years estopped the insurer from enforcing the terms of the slips. The judge found that since MW did not provide accurate information to the insurer, the insurer was not estopped from enforcing the terms of the slips and allowed the claims for outstanding premium to succeed including an amount of premium at a higher loading on account of excluded business which was underwritten. The insurer also claimed that MW fraudulently misrepresented loss ratios on the first three slips with the intent to conceal the true extent of the losses and thus induce the insurer to enter into a fourth slip without knowing the true loss ratio of the business. The judge found that misrepresentations had been made and that MW and two representatives of the company had acted dishonestly in making such representations.
High Court, Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court) Simon J
3 December 2010