India's cricket team was at the heart of another
dispute in the case of Toomey and Others v Baron Electronics Pty
Limited (16 January 2002). Prize Indemnity cover
was provided to Baron Electronics, a company based in India, for a
promotion in which cash prizes were linked to India's results in
the 1999 cricket world cup. In the event, India
were knocked out in the early stages of the Cup and the cover ran
loss free. Insurers, however, were unable to
obtain payment of the premium, Baron Electronics failing to obtain
exchange control clearance from the General Insurance Company of
India, which contended that the insurance contract was a wagering
contract which was void and unenforceable.
Insurers commenced proceedings in London for payment of the premium
and obtained judgment to this effect.
The case is interesting on a number of counts:
The Commercial Court followed the 1994
decision in Newbury International Limited v Reliance National
Insurance in holding that the Prize Indemnity cover in issue was a
valid insurance contract and not a gambling or wagering
The slip required payment of the premium to
the brokers in India, which did not breach Indian exchange control
regulations. Thus, the contract was enforceable,
as a matter of English law, and insurers were entitled to payment
of the premium.
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