Topic: Insurance

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Duties of Auditors and Compliance Officers are owed to Intermediary not Third Party Insurers

Hollard Insurance Company Ltd and Others v Insure Group Management Ltd (in liquidation) and Others (21/43014) [2023] ZAGPJHC 371 (25 April 2023) A number of insurers issued summons against an intermediary (the first defendant), its auditor (the second defendant) and its compliance officer (the third defendant) in relation to premiums collected by the intermediary and … Continue reading

Subrogation and Medical Schemes

Van Tonder v Road Accident Fund (1736/2020; 9773/2021) [2023] ZAWCHC 305 (1 December 2023) The court consolidated two matters against the Road Accident Fund, for payment of each plaintiff’s past medical and hospital expenses, which were rejected by the RAF due to the fact that both plaintiffs were members of private medical aid schemes, who … Continue reading

The effect of Avian Influenza on insuring South African poultry farming

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting domestic poultry and wild birds. It is a significant concern to poultry farmers in South Africa. South Africa’s recent Bird Flu outbreak highlighted the need for appropriate insurance for these events. The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has confirmed that South Africa’s 2023 Bird … Continue reading

Insurance Brokers and Restraint of Trade

TWK Agri (Pty) Ltd v Botha and Others (J125/2023) [2023] ZALCJHB 42 (7 March 2023) Restraint of Trade Upheld. TWK, the applicant, is a broker of non-life and life insurance, with products marketed by a network of brokers. MRA Brokers, the third respondent, is a competitor broker. Botha and Strydom, the first and second respondents, … Continue reading

Insurance Mergers, Competition Law and Approval of Acquisitions

Three 2023 decisions of the Competition Authorities provide a useful guide to their approach to insurance acquisitions in South Africa and expansion into Africa. Sanlam Emerging Markets Proprietary Limited and Another v SAN JV (RF) Proprietary Limited  [2023] ZACT 40; [2023] 3 CPLR 44 (CT) (17 August 2023) In August 2023, the Competition Tribunal … Continue reading

Email from parties not binding on arbitrator

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) upheld an arbitration award that was challenged by the buyers of shares in a company, who argued that the arbitrator had ignored their suggestion to hold a separate hearing on one of the claims. The SCA found that the suggestion was not binding on the arbitrator, and that he … Continue reading

Relying on res ipsa loquitur when the roof falls in

Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself) refers to the inference of negligence drawn from the facts of a particular occurrence, where the occurrence itself is the only available fact from which such negligence can be deduced.  Does res ipsa loquitur apply in cases involving falling objects? In Eze v Adderley Body Corporate (, … Continue reading

South African Chapter of the 5th Edition of The Legal 500:  Pharmaceutical Advertising Comparative Guide

Natasha Naidoo, director at Norton Rose Fulbright SA, was recently invited to exclusively author the South African Chapter of the 5th Edition of The Legal 500:  Pharmaceutical Advertising Comparative Guide. The Chapter provides a comprehensive overview of Pharmaceutical Advertising Laws and Regulations applicable, not only to the pharmaceutical industry but also to healthcare practitioners in … Continue reading

An Acknowledgement of liability to third party interrupts prescription

The Free State High Court confirms in J.H.V v Centlec (SOC) Ltd and Others that an acknowledgement of liability by the debtor interrupts prescription, even if the acknowledgement is not made directly to the creditor. The applicant approached the High Court for a declaratory order that he was not indebted to Centlec SOC Ltd, the municipal electricity … Continue reading

How not to prosecute an insurance claim

This is a strange judgment from the Pretoria High Court.  The insured sought an order that the insurer pay the alleged value of his motor vehicle, after it had allegedly been written off in an accident. The court noted that the insurer had “repudiated his claim due to non-disclosure of material information at the inception … Continue reading

Farmers liable for motorist’s collision with calf

The claimant sued two farmers for damages sustained following a collision with the defendants’ calf on the N8. The claimant sustained injuries when he swerved to the left to avoid the calf on the road. The defendants were found liable for the damages sustained by the claimant as a result of the collision for their … Continue reading

Insurance does not cover deliberate conduct (US)

The insured pharmaceutical company was sued for flooding the California pharmaceutical market with opioids, concealing the facts, disregarding its duties, and ignoring risks as a result of which people became addicted and even died as a result of opioid use. The insured sought an indemnity from the insurer’s which covered “bodily injury caused by an … Continue reading

Role of intention and punctuation when interpreting insurance guarantees

In January 2024 the High Court held that an insurer’s guarantee that ambiguously contained two incompatible  expiry dates, namely the date of issue of the final completion certificate under the construction contract and the date on which the contractor had to pay under the consequent final payment certificate, should be interpreted in a businesslike fashion … Continue reading

Troublesome vultures pecking a roof is an insurance-excluded “infestation” (US)

In January 2024 a US court found that the pecking damage to the roof of a Maryland shopping centre by turkey vultures was caused by an “infestation” excluded under the policy. The commercial property damage policy excluded cover for “nesting, infestation or discharge of waste by birds”. The court found that the vulture presence on … Continue reading

Sky UK Limited v Riverstone Management Agency Limited

Contractors All Risks Insurance:  Any One Event (UK) – Part 3 In this judgment, discussed previously [here and here] the final issue for determination was the question of application of the insured’s Retained Liability.  The relevant clause read: “The policy deductible was €10 000 each and every loss, but there was a deductible for claims … Continue reading

Subrogation of a claim by operation of law is not a void transfer of rights by a party (UK)

A sale contract for maritime surveillance aircraft delivered in Japan provided that the contract must “not be assigned or transferred in whole or in part by any party to any third party, for any reason whatsoever, without the prior written consent of the other party”. Such a transfer would be void. The buyer insured the … Continue reading

Use of “and” treats two concepts as separate (AUS)

An electrical arcing event to the main switchboard of the insured caused significant damage to the switchboard and an extended power outage. The “property insured” included “individual switchgear for starting and controlling motors and interconnecting wires and/or cables”. The claim was for damage to the combination fuse switch unit. The court held that the use … Continue reading