“Where an endorsement conflicts with the body of an insurance policy, the endorsement controls.” So said a US court in a claim by sugar farmers for assistance in the defence of a claim for the negligent spraying of weed killer on the neighbouring date palm farm.

The policy contained an exclusion for claims arising from “contamination”. But this was trumped by a specific endorsement for injury or damage to property or crops treated by aerial application of chemicals.

This is a good reminder of a fairly obvious point. The legal position under South African law would be the same. But the courts will first see if the two provisions can make sense when read together.

[National Union Fire Insurance Co of Pittsburgh v Florida Crystals Corp]