Macaura v Northern Assurance Co Ltd

Fact of the case

Macaura (M) was the holder of nearly all (except one) shares of a timber company. He was also a major creditor of the company. M Insured the company’s timber in his own name. The timber was lost in a fire. M claimed insurance compensation.


Northern Assurance refused to pay up because the timber was owned by the company, and that because the company was a separate legal entity, it did not need to pay Mr Macaura any money.A member does not even have an insurable interest in the property of the company.


The existence of a company is distinct and separate from that of its members. A company can own property, have bank account, raise loans, incur liabilities and enter into contracts on its own.The shareholders are not the private or joint owners of the company’s property.



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