Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

United States Maritime Law

Robert Force * and Martin Davies **


279. AGF Marine Aviation & Transport v. Cassin1

280. Lloyd’s, London (Certain Underwriters at) v. Inlet Fisheries Inc2

281. New Hampshire Insurance Co v. C’Est Moi Inc3

Marine insurance—uberrima fides—material misrepresentation
In the Lloyd’s of London case, the insurer sued to avoid the policy on the ground that the insured breached the duty of uberrima fides. Prior to the issuance of the policy in issue, the insured had been covered by a pollution policy with WQIS. WQIS cancelled that coverage. The insured then applied to Lloyd’s, prior to the effective date of the cancellation without disclosing that fact. On the Lloyd’s form application, the insured stated that it had no history of losses despite the fact that two of its vessels had discharged oil. It also did not disclose the poor condition of its vessels despite the fact that the poor condition of the vessels was one of the reasons WQIS had cancelled. Lloyd’s filed a motion for summary judgment which the district court granted, applying the doctrine of uberrima fides.
In the New Hampshire and AGF cases, the assured stated a value of the sales price of the vessel that was higher than the price actually paid. In each case, the District Court, relying on the doctrine of uberrima fides, held that the insurer properly avoided the contract.
Decisions: In Lloyd’s of London, the District Court decision was affirmed. The doctrine of uberrima fides is the law in the Ninth Circuit in marine insurance cases. In the New Hampshire and AGF cases, district court decisions affirmed.
Held (Lloyd’s of London): (1)This was the first case since the Supreme Court decided Wilburn Boat Co v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co,4 in which the Ninth Circuit was asked to address directly the issue whether the applicability of the doctrine of uberrima fides in



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