A Question About Salvage After Discharge of Claim

Recently we were asked a question about salvage. This relates to a claim with Southern Response. The claimant completed an out of policy cash settlement. SR later comes back to the claimant asking for salvage. It was not included in the Discharge document as far as we know. Kindly Grant Shand, John Goddard and Duncan Webb have responded.

Disclaimer - This is not legal advice, and you should see a lawyer if you have any concern whatsoever with the below.

The Question: "if someone full and final cash settles, and then SR comes back and says, you need to pay salvage, do you have to pay it"?

  • "Salvage is a common law right so often is not included in the insurance policy. It depends how a particular settlement agreement is worded. Even if a settlement agreement appears to exclude subsequent salvage claims, it could be reopened if the parties have made a common mistake.", or
  • "I suggest that they [SR} have absolutely no right to salvage after that [Discharged Claim] – unless expressly excluded, and that they know it."

So, where does this leave us as claimants? If Southern Response, or your insurer, ask for salvage after they Discharged your claim, and you do not believe it was a common mistake on their behalf, you could always let them [Southern Response] file a claim against you / take you to the Disputes Tribunal; in other words, allow a mediator to decide. 

The tribunal will cost SR $75.00 and can hear cases up to around $20,000.

Melanie Tobeck