Insurance Law Case Note: Gray v Barr

8 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2021

See all articles by Dr Sara Golru

Dr Sara Golru

The University of Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 2018


The impact of Gray v Barr ultimately demonstrates that ‘public policy is rightly regarded as an unruly steed which should be cautiously ridden’. The court’s limited definition of accidental damage has resulted in great unfairness to third parties in comparison to first party claimants. The undue emphasis on deterrence has proven to be an insufficient reason to deny third parties the benefit of compensation, particularly where motor vehicle policies allow such claims. It is certainly incongruous to require insurers to pay for damage caused by criminal behaviour but Gray and subsequent cases have failed to adequately justify why there should be a blanket prohibition on such claims.

Keywords: insurance law; public policy; third party insurance; first party insurance

Suggested Citation

Golru, Dr Sara, Insurance Law Case Note: Gray v Barr (September 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Dr Sara Golru (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law Building, F10
Sydney, NSW

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