Kathleen Toremar v CGU Bonus Limited 2012 CSIH 90

On behalf of Insurance clients, Reid Cooper were successful at Proof and then, on Appeal, in repudiating a fire damage claim.

In Kathleen Toremar v CGU Bonus Limited 2012 CSIH 90, the Pursuer made a claim in relation to extensive damage to the Bunrannoch Hotel, Kinloch Rannoch, Perthshire.

On behalf of the Insurers, it was averred that the fire and the consequent damage was the result of a deliberate act of setting fire to the premises with the fire being set either by or on behalf of, or with the knowledge and concurrence of the Pursuer. The Pursuer claimed that the fire was accidental.

Lord Brodie held that the evidence excluded possibilities not involving human agency and that the Insurers had discharged the onus that the fire was probably set by the Pursuer in person.

On Appeal, the Inner House, in considering Lord Brodie’s findings, were satisfied that he was wholly aware of the appropriate test to be met in deciding whether or not the Insurers had onus upon them to justify avoiding the Policy, that he had applied that test and that there was sufficient evidence of necessary quality to allow him to find on the balance of probabilities that the fire had been started deliberately by the Pursuer.