Patrick Bracher (ZA)

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Ride-hailing driver using rented vehicle insurance excluded as “regular use” vehicle (US)

In November 2023 a Michigan Court of Appeals denied coverage to a ride-hailing driver whose rented vehicle was rear-ended whilst carrying a passenger for reward because the Under-Insured Motorist (“UIM”) benefits under the insurer’s policy excluded benefits for bodily injury sustained by any person when using “any vehicle that is owned by or available for … Continue reading

Marijuana growers fire insurance claim rejected for lack of sprinklers (US)

In November 2023 a Michigan Court of Appeals rejected a fire claim by a marijuana growing operation, under a commercial property insurance policy against fire and other hazards, because the policy unambiguously required an automatic extinguishing system described in the policy as including sprinklers and discharge nozzles and related equipment. The policy included a Protective … Continue reading

Cyber risk modelling alone will not narrow the protection gap for peak cyber perils

Every insurer needs to read the research summary ‘Cyber Risk Accumulation: Fully tackling the insurability challenge’ issued by The Geneva Association in November 2023. Even though prudent insurance companies underwrite cyber risk with tightly-defined contract wordings, limited risk-absorbing capacity and requirements for risk management by the insured, this is not enough having regard to the … Continue reading

Claims preparation costs are costs of presentation of the insurance claim (AUS)

In a dispute between insurer and insured relating to a fire claim, the insured sought claims preparation costs in the form of professional fees relating to fees charged by their lawyers for pursuing claims under the policy. The court held that the only sensible construction of the clause in the policy insuring claims preparation costs … Continue reading

Court orders vaccination of infant (UK)

A High Court in England refused an application by the mother of a nine-month old child to prevent the local authority from acting under the UK Children Act from administering routine childhood vaccinations including for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and hepatitis B. The opposition of the mother was based on religious grounds. The facts are … Continue reading

Contract from an unlawful administrative decision may be declared invalid by collateral challenge without a review application

This blog was co-authored by Felix Le Roux, Candidate Attorney. In a September 2023 judgment, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) affirmed that a court is entitled to declare a contract unlawful and invalid on administrative law grounds, even in the absence of a review application by the party raising such grounds.              In October … Continue reading

Construction insurance policy covering subcontractors included structural engineer (AUS)

A Third Party Liability Policy relating to a tower block residential building insured the principal contractor as well as “contractors and subcontractors”, and others all for their respective rights, interests and liabilities. The court held that the insurance covered the structural engineers according to the plain meaning of the word “subcontractor”. The plain meaning refers … Continue reading

Payment by a parent company on behalf of subsidiary does not relieve the insurer of the obligation to indemnify (AUS)

An engineer firm WSP Structures was liable to make payment of damages arising from its professional negligence. The debt was paid by the parent company WSP Australia. Despite this payment the insurers of WSP Structures were not relieved of the liability to indemnify the insured on the basis that WSP Structures debt had been discharged. … Continue reading

Professional indemnity cover does not exclude claim under liability policy (AUS)

The insurers of a structural engineering firm liable for losses resulting from negligence had agreed to indemnify its insured but no indemnity had yet been paid. The court held that the structural engineer’s liability insurers could not refuse to pay the claim on the basis that the insured had already been indemnified. Such a defence … Continue reading

A previous group insurance scheme became unlawful and the contracts unenforceable when Insurance Act 2017 commenced

In September 2023 the Supreme Court of Appeal held that, where 8 000 individual funeral policy members had formed part of a group scheme under the Long-term Insurance Act 1998 which was no longer a “group” scheme as defined in the Insurance Act 2017 from 01 July 2018, the insurance policies and the related intermediary … Continue reading

Accumulation concerns for cyber business

A Munich Re management board member has stated that the insurer is prepared to divest cyber business over accumulation concerns. The board member said that there is a need to recognise and understand accumulation potential in order to develop a sustainable cyber insurance market. Overexposure could lead to failures. Other insurers are said to be increasing … Continue reading

Medmal claim unsuccessful for failure to notify request for medical records (US)

A Maryland US court declined a doctor’s request for an indemnity from his medical malpractice insurers because the insured doctor failed to report a request for medical records from the patient’s lawyer as required by the policy during the policy period. The attorney’s request for medical records was sent on 20 April 2021. The insurance policy … Continue reading

Insurance claims rejection for failure of insured to submit to examination under oath (US)

A Massachusetts appeal court refused to uphold an insurer’s fire claim rejection that was based on an alleged failure of the insured to submit to a “reasonably required” examination under oath in the course of investigating the claim because, on the facts, the insured had not wilfully and without excuse refused to present its president … Continue reading