Miller's Marine War Risks

Page 65


… Or civil strife arising therefrom …

… Or civil strife arising therefrom …

9.1 There appear to be no decided cases on this insured peril, apart from some indications in Spinney’s case.1 It is clear from the terms of the policy that this insured peril is intended to cover situations of civil disorder which arise during a war, civil war, revolution, rebellion or insurrection, or which continue after the war etc. is over. As to the latter, it can be envisaged that civil disorder of some kind might arise either during, or after, such traumatic events. Provided that the civil disorder can factually be linked to war etc. in the sense that it “arises” from them, or from one of them (i.e. a question of causation), a claim will arise in respect of an insured object which is lost or damaged as a result. 9.2 “Civil” is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “Of or pertaining to citizens; of or belonging to citizens; consisting of citizens or men dwelling together in a community; also of the nature of a citizen.” “Strife” is defined as: “The action of striving together or contending in opposition; a condition of antagonism, enmity or discord; contention, dispute; in a state of discord or contention; by force or violence (also appropriate to a situation without violence).” 9.3 Following the indications in the Spinney’s case, it is suggested that such “civil strife” must be of a most serious nature amounting at least to a “civil commotion” and nothing less than this will cause this insured peril to operate on its own. Given the need for a causative link between the “civil strife” and the perils mentioned earlier in the clause, it might be the case that a lesser degree of cohesion between the participants involved in the acts constituting “strife” would be required than Mustill J. held would be necessary for “civil commotion” in Spinney’s at 438. If that is right, then it might be the case that widespread disorganized looting that would not of itself fall within any of the perils covered by the clause might be covered if it arises as a consequence of an event which does fall within the definition of one of the insured perils discussed in –8. 9.4 This does not mean that other disturbances of a lesser nature, which are insured perils in their own right, are excluded from the insurance cover. These insured perils will not separately cease to become complete simply because this insured peril will only operate where serious disturbances are involved.