Superyacht Insurance Policy Rendered Void


The Insurance policy for a Riva 115 has been rendered voidable by non-disclosure of substantial over-valuation

In a judgment of significance to the yacht market handed down by the Commercial Court, Underwriters represented by the London based Law firm Ince & Co were held to have validly avoided a policy of insurance due to non-disclosure of substantial over-valuation.

In the early hours of 3 December 2011, the yacht Galatea suffered significant damage as a result of a fire on board whilst at her home marina in Athens.

The Owner claimed under the policy, written in the London market, for a constructive total loss.

Underwriters’ defence based on non-disclosure of the substantial over-valuation of the yacht was upheld by the Court.

The decision contains important findings as to what facts are material for disclosure in the context of yacht policies (in terms of over-valuation), and invites an interesting comparison as to what the Underwriters’ remedy would have been had the policy been subject to the Insurance Act 2015 which comes into force in August of next year.

The judgment is also interesting in terms of the Court’s approach to the contractual time bar provisions in the American Yacht form R12 and the consequences of late tender of Notice of Abandonment.