Insurance claim

December 14, 2015

In 2011, a claimant filed a civil case against a defendant insurance company, requesting compensation for a 'totalled' car.

The defendant, however, denied the claim on the basis that the driver at the time of the accident was a member of the claimant’s family, and not the claimant himself.

The Primary Court disagreed with the defendant’s argument and stated that the driver involved was actually the claimant. The insurance company was ordered to pay RO3,500 to the claimant.

The defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal; however, the appeal was rejected.

At the Supreme Court, the defendant argued for the first time that the accident was intentional. The defendant alleged that the claimant gave his car to a family member who then intentionally smashed the car into a wall and set the car on fire.

The defendant argued that under the Omani Vehicle Insurance Law, insurance companies are not obliged to compensate for intentional accidents.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the defendant, basing its judgment on a Criminal Court judgment which convicted the claimant and sentenced him to prison for intentionally damaging the car in question and setting it alight. Accordingly, the Primary Court decision was overruled.

Presumably, the Criminal Court judgment was final and non-appealable, and the insurance company only raised the criminal issue at the Supreme Court level in the civil proceedings because the criminal case wasn’t final at an earlier stage.