Comprehensive insurance, mitigation and credit hire

There is a tendency in litigation for each new legal generation to re-invent the wheel and recently I have found myself arguing again, after a gap of some 15 years what I term the “comprehensive insurance point”.

In brief, it is the argument run by some insurance companies that a credit hire claimant with the benefit of a comprehensive insurance policy, who elects to hire a car on a credit hire basis rather than claim on their policy whether by obtaining a courtesy car or a cash benefit, fails to mitigate their loss.

These arguments were common in the early years of this century: as I recall district judges tended to like the point, whilst circuit judges did not.

In a recent case I argued in the County Court at Liverpool, Recorder Heaton QC accepted my arguments that despite having a comprehensive insurance policy, the claimant did not fail to mitigate his loss by refusing to claim upon his own insurance policy and instead electing to hire a replacement motorcycle on a credit hire basis.

A copy of the judgment can be found here: Recorder Civil Sharp Mark v Aviva Insurance Perfected reserved Judgment 251017.

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