Garnat Trading & Shipping (Singapore) Pte Ltd & Anr v Baominh Insurance Corporation [2011] EWHC Civ 773

The Appellant insurer insured a floating dock owned by the Respondent. The dock was to be towed on a voyage from Vladivostock to Vung Tau in Vietnam, for which a specific towage plan was devised. Towage was only permitted in conditions up to sea force 5, with a maximum wave height of 3.5m.  

The dock was lost during the voyage and the Respondent claimed on the insurance. The Appellant rejected the claim, on the grounds of non-disclosure of the permissible towage conditions, and breach of the warranty of seaworthiness. At first instance, the judge held that the towage conditions had been disclosed to the Appellant, and that the dock had been seaworthy at the commencement of the voyage.  

On the facts, the Court of Appeal found that there had been a fair presentation of the risk to the Appellant insurer, and as such the Appellant bore the risk of the dock meeting conditions with a sea force greater than 5 and wave heights greater than 3.5m.  

The adventure insured was one where it was contemplated by the parties that there would be a maximum wave height of 3.5m. As a result, the dock had to be fit in all respects to encounter the ordinary perils of the sea for that adventure, rather than some other voyage.  

The appeal was dismissed.