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Coward v MIB [1963] 1 QB 359 Court of Appeal

Coward was killed whilst riding pillion on a motorcycle driven by a friend and work colleague on the way to work. The collision was due to the negligence of the friend. Coward's widow sought to claim damages from the Motor Insurance Bureau since the rider's insurance did not cover pillion passengers. The Motor Insurance Bureau would only be obliged to pay if insurance for the pillion was compulsory. Insurance was only compulsory for pillions if they were carried for hire or reward. Coward paid the friend a small weekly sum to take him to and from work each day. The widow therefore argued that this was a contract for hire or reward. However, the MIB argued that to amount to a contract for hire or reward there had to be an intention to create legal relations which was absent in agreements of this nature between friends.


There was no contract of hire or reward as it was a social and domestic agreement and therefore no intention to create legal relations. The widow was therefore not entitled to compensation.
Back to lecture outline on intention to create legal relations in Contract Law