Marine Cargo: Inland Transit Claim
The Insured purchased Marine Cargo policy to transport a machine they had purchased. Upon arrival of the cargo at their premises, the cargo was unloaded from the low-loader and placed onto rollers supported by forklift to move into the area allocated within the premises. While this was taking place the machine slipped off the rollers and sustained damage.
The Insurer had repudiated this claim on the ground that the coverage terminates once the cargo has been lifted off the conveyance and placed on the ground. The Insurer had quoted and relied upon the “Loading and Unloading Clause” which is stated as follows:-
“Cover under this clause attaches at the time the goods are lifted from the ground or loading dock immediately adjacent to the conveyance, continues during the ordinary course of transit as per the Institute Clauses herein and terminates once the goods have been lifted from the conveyance and placed on the ground immediately adjacent hereto.”
Investigation and Findings
The Case Manager observed that the policy schedule only stated as follows:-
“Loading and Unloading Clause” as follows:-
“6050 Including the Risks of Loading and Unloading”
Further queries with the Insurer as to where the terms and conditions relied by them was stated in the policy, revealed that there were no such terms in the policy. There were also no wordings informing the Insured where they could view the full wordings of the above clause on the documents provided to the Insured.
The case manager was of the view that the Insurer should provide the full terms and conditions of the policy to the Insured. Since this was not done the “Contra Proferentum Rule” may be applied here, whereby any ambiguity in the Policy will be considered in favor of the Insured.
Furthermore, the Insurer should not rely on a clause which was not stated in the Policy or brought to the attention of the Insured at the time of inception of policy.
Following the above, the case manager made a recommendation in favor of the Insured. This recommendation was accepted by the Insurer and they then revised their offer. The complainant has also accepted the revised offer.