China Insurance Company Ltd v Ang Bay Kang

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date17 November 1968
Date17 November 1968
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y27 of 1968

[1968] SGFC 18

Federal Court

Wee Chong Jin CJ

,

Tan Ah Tah FJ

and

Choor Singh J

Civil Appeal No Y27 of 1968

China Insurance Co Ltd
Plaintiff
and
Ang Bay Kang
Defendant

S K Lee (S K Lee & Co) for the appellant

Dennis Murphy (Murphy & Dunbar) for the respondent.

Browning v Phoenix Assurance Co Ltd [1960] 2 Lloyd's Rep 360 (distd)

Gray v Blackmore [1934] 1 KB 95 (refd)

John T Ellis Ltd v Hinds [1947] 1 All ER 337 (refd)

Official Administrator v China Insurance Co Ltd [1957] MLJ 59 (folld)

Insurance–Motor vehicle insurance–Limitation of liability–Car tested by garage proprietor after repairs effected–Whether car used for purpose of policyholder or in connection with motor trade

An insured sent her car for repairs at a garage. After the car was repaired, an employee of the garage took the car out on the road to test it. In the process, he collided with the plaintiff who was injured. The plaintiff brought an action in negligence against the said employee and obtained judgment. He commenced action against the defendant insurance company (“the insurer”) to recover the fruits of the judgment. The insurer disclaimed liability on the basis of a “limitation as to use” clause in the motor vehicle insurance policy which excluded insurance cover if the car was used for a purpose in connection with the motor trade. The insurer contended that at the time of the collision, the car was used for a purpose in connection with the motor trade. The trial judge held that at the material time, the car was not used in connection with the motor trade and entered judgment against the insurer. The insurer appealed.

Held, dismissing the appeal:

Where the owner of a car authorises a garage proprietor to test his car after repairs, the testing of the car cannot be said to be a use for a purpose in connection with the motor trade. The testing of the car in such circumstances is a use of the car for and on behalf of the owner: at [13].

Choor Singh J

(delivering the judgment of the court):

1 This is an appeal from a judgment of the High Court in which it was held that the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant company, as the insurers of motor car number SU 4191, the sum of $18,246 being the total amount of damages and costs and interest thereon awarded to the plaintiff in an action against one Quek Poh Khoon, in respect of injuries which the plaintiff suffered arising from Quek Poh Khoon's negligent driving of the said motor car.

2 The facts are not in dispute and briefly are as follows. One Mdm Tay who was the owner of motor car number 4191 sent her said car to a garage known as the Kim Seng Motor Engineering Co for repairs. The car was repaired by the said Quek Poh Khoon, an employee of Kim Seng Motor Engineering Co and after carrying out repairs Quek took the car out on the road to test it. Not far from the garage he collided with the plaintiff who was injured. The plaintiff brought an action for negligence against Quek and was awarded damages in respect of personal injuries in the sum of $12,657 and costs which were taxed at $2,463. The plaintiff then commenced these proceedings to recover from the defendant company the fruits of the judgment obtained by him against Quek on the ground that the defendant company was liable under the terms of the policy of...

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