An attorney in Illinois USA, faced with two professional negligence suits filed after his policy expired, relied on a letter sent the day before the policy expired alerting the company to three potential claims with “details to follow”.

The court held that general notice to the insurer does not satisfy a condition of the policy that requires details of the claim to be given to the insurer during the policy period. The notice requirements stipulated that the notice of claim must include specifics such as the date of the conduct that gave rise to the claim and the damage or injury that could result from it. As no such detail had been given until seven months later, the claim against the insurer was disallowed (Illinois State Bar Association Mutual Insurance Company v Beeler Law PC).

A similar result would follow in South Africa if specific claim details are required by the policy.