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Direct Travel Insurance v McGeown [2003] EWCA Civ 1606

Personal Injury - Single trip holiday insurance policy - Claimant had accident on holiday - Claim under policy for permanent physical disability which prevented insured from doing any paid work or from doing all his or her usual activities - Judge wrong to hold that claimant could recover under insurance where her disability prevented her from carrying out at least one of those activities

28 November 2003

In 1998, the claimant (M) went on holiday to Turkey. She obtained insurance cover from the defendant insurer (DT), which in s 6(3) provided for a payment of £50,000 for a permanent physical disability which prevented the insured from doing any paid work or from doing all his or her usual activities. On holiday M was involved in a road traffic accident and suffered serious injuries from which she made a good but not complete recovery. She made a claim under s 6(3) on the basis that she had been left with a permanent disability which prevented her from working and from doing her usual activities. HH Judge Darlow held that M was entitled to recover on the basis that she was prevented from carrying out at least one of her pre-accident activities, namely horse riding, and was therefore unable to pursue ‘all’ her usual activities within s 6(3), which on its proper interpretation meant any one or more of them. The judge construed the provision against DT (contra proferentem) on ...

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