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A Bit about Follow-the-Lead clauses


In the San Evans Maritime case, the English court described follow-the-lead clauses as follows:

“11. Follow clauses come in different forms. Some oblige the following underwriter to follow the lead underwriter in relation to a large number of matters including alterations to the terms of the policy, surveys and settlement of claims (as in Roar Marine v Bimeh Iran Insurance Co [1998] 1 Ll Rep 423 ) and others oblige the following underwriter to follow the lead underwriter in relation to a smaller range of matters, for example decisions, survey and settlements regarding claims (as in The Buana Dua [2011] 2 CLC 722) . Some are concerned solely with alterations to the rates or conditions of the insurance (as in Roadworks (1952) Ltd v Charman [1994] 2 Ll Rep 99) and others are concerned solely with the acceptance of declarations under an open cover (as in Mander v Commercial Union Assurance [1998] Ll Rep IR 93). Since the subject-matter and terms of follow clauses may differ the manner in which they are intended to work must depend, ultimately, upon an examination of the terms of the follow clause in question.

As always the wording of any follow–the-lead clause is of paramount importance.  Co-insurers should ensure the wordings say what they mean.


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