Case summary:

Under a public liability all risks insurance policy it was a condition of claims that the insured provide the insurer with all relevant documentation. The Court of Appeal found that it was an implied term of the policy that compliance with the condition precedent had to be within a reasonable time. The Court of Appeal also confirmed that the absence of prejudice did not entitle the court to ignore the non-compliance with the condition precedent. Whether or not prejudice is relevant depends on the facts of each case. There is no absolute principle that the question of prejudice due to delay should be excluded or included when assessing the reasonable time for compliance.

Comment:

Conditions precedent in insurance policies must be fulfilled within the stipulated period or, if none is stipulated, a reasonable time. Prejudice may be relevant in determining a reasonable period, but the absence of prejudice does not nullify the condition precedent.

Shinedean Ltd v Alldown Demolition (London) Ltd (in liquidation) and AXA Insurance UK plc (20/06/2006)