Court orders Fidelity Insurance to pay firm Sh68mn over fire incident


Justice Dorah Chepkwony. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Fidelity Shield Insurance has been ordered to pay a Coast-based company Sh68 million over a fire incident that occurred six years ago.

Mombasa High Court on Thursday ordered the underwriter to pay Dhanjal Investments Ltd T/A Travellers Mwaluganje the money after a five-year court battle.

Justice Dorah Chepkwony issued the orders after finding that the contract between the two companies provided for such reliefs in case of an accident of a similar nature.

Justice Chepkwony ruled that the evidence tabled before the court proved that the fire had razed down the firm’s camp which lead to loss of property and that cause of the fire was malicious damage.

“I, therefore, find and hold that the plaintiff has proved that it is entitled to be compensated by the defendant,” she said. 

The judge further noted that evidence tabled revealed that the buildings were reduced to rubble. The insurance’s  loss adjuster put the salvage value at Sh200,000, which she said meant that it was a total loss.

“In the final analysis, I find and hold that the defendant is liable to pay to plaintiff a sum of Sh68 million, costs of the suit and interest on the sum awarded from the date of filing this suit together with costs from the date of this judgment at the rate prayed for,” said the judge.

Dhanjal Investments Ltd sued the insurance company five years ago after an unidentified arsonists set its camp and property ablaze.

The company’s director Nirmal Singh testified that the fire broke out and damaged its property, which it holds the insurance firm liable under a policy of insurance executed between them on July 1, 2012, and renewable annually.

When the fire broke out, the certificate of renewal for July 1, 2014 to the same month the following year was in force.

And when the incident happened, he said the policy cover for the property worth Sh80 million was still in force.

However, he said that the policy document was not given to him until after the fire accident and that an inquiry had exonerated him for being the arsonist.

The incident happened on May 3, 2015, at the firm’s camp in Kinango, Kwale County.