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Insurance and reasonable precautions – LexBlog

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In this judgment the insured sought an indemnity for its third-party liability arising from the motor vehicle collision in which the insured was involved.

The policy required the insured to “use all reasonable care and take all reasonable steps, with the same degree of care from us which can be expected from the reasonable man on the street, to prevent or minimise loss, damage, death, injury or liability.” The court found, (without any analysis and discussion of what constituted recklessness in the circumstances) that the insured drove recklessly and failed to comply with the reasonable precautions requirements of the insurance policy.

The insured collided with cattle on the road, lost control of his vehicle and then collided with a stationary vehicle while driving through a rural village.

The evidence was that at the time of the collision the insured was driving at a speed of between 95 to 105 kms per hour.

On analysis of all the evidence the court said that considering the circumstances of the area, the conditions of the road (which were not good) the speed limit at the road at that place of 60 kms an hour and that the insured was driving in the dark, the insured failed to take all reasonable care and reasonable steps as expected of a reasonable person to prevent or minimise loss, damage, death or injury. 

For comment on the role of recklessness in these circumstances, see this blog.

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