Topic: Insurance

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Insurance industry ‘excited’ about InsurTech

Most insurance companies acknowledge that major change is coming and the insurance world is excited about the changes that InsurTech may bring. Recently we have seen reports in the media that local insurance companies are spending significant amounts of money in partnering with various InsurTech companies in an effort to embrace the changes. InsurTech is effectively … Continue reading

Rising tide for directors

State capture, growing public discontent fuelled by social media at the activities of private companies and the need for ethical business practices all present significant implications for directors and for insurers who provide directors and officers liability insurance. Increased scrutiny by regulators and industry watchdogs into the affairs of companies and the conduct of their … Continue reading

Policy requirement to comply with statutory or regulatory standards requires reasonable care not absolute compliance

An Australian court has interpreted the obligation in a business liability policy to ‘comply with legislation and Australian Standards’ coupled with a general condition requiring the insured to ‘take reasonable care to avoid causing harm’ as requiring reasonableness and not absolute compliance. Not every minor breach of regulations can be regarded as an infringement of … Continue reading

Sitting is not an ‘accident’ (US)

In a curious case the Michigan US Appeals Court found that merely sitting for a long period of time which allegedly led to a truck driver dying of a pulmonary embolism while sitting in the cab of his truck at a truck stop was not bodily injury caused by an occupational accident. Medical evidence said … Continue reading

Two year insurance time-bar upheld (US)

A Delaware court upheld a two year time-bar in relation to a property damage insurance claim arising from Superstorm Sandy because the action was instituted more than two years after the 2012 event and after coverage was denied by the insurer in 2013. The limitations clause provided that ‘no suit, action or proceeding for the … Continue reading

Aggregation of claims for related transactions

Where a policy aggregated claims for ‘similar acts or omissions in a series of related matters or transactions’ the enquiry was whether there was a real connection between the transactions in which they occurred. The use of the word ‘related’ implies there must be some interconnection between the matters or transactions so that they in … Continue reading

Insurance exclusion for ‘that particular part’ on which ‘performing operations’ (US)

The insured subcontracted a builder to build 53 prefabricated modular units for its residential blindness rehabilitation facility. The insurer denied an indemnity for water damage under a partly completed roof saying that the applicable exclusion barred coverage for ‘that particular part’ of property on which the policyholder or its subcontractors ‘are performing operations’. The units … Continue reading

Appeal Court confirms insurer liable to indemnify insured for failure to assess the risk of a schizophrenic prison inmate (Australia)

The New South Wales Court of Appeal upheld the decision of a lower court, holding an insurer liable to indemnify its insured, a prison detention centre for failing to assess the risk of a chronic schizophrenic prison inmate. The inmate threw himself from a building and suffered serious brain and other physical injuries. The issue … Continue reading

US court upholds Lloyd’s flood exclusion

A US court of appeals upheld the exclusion in a policy issued by Lloyd’s Underwriters for losses ‘caused directly or indirectly by flood’ in relation to a claim where a river basin marina lost five of its docks in a storm which generated strong winds and 18cm of rain causing the river to rise about … Continue reading

Reinstatement of cover only when claim paid

A New Zealand court has held that a policy undertaking by an insurer to reinstate the sum insured ‘after we have paid a claim under this policy’ does not give the insured a reinstatement right until a claim is actually paid. Where a loss happened, followed soon after by another loss before the first claim … Continue reading

Breach of policy requirement not to settle or disclaim liability does not include plea in criminal proceedings

An insurer in Singapore alleged that the insured had breached the obligation not to ‘make any admission in connection with any claim’ by pleading guilty to five charges of failing to comply with fire regulations. The defence was rejected on the basis that a person’s unfettered freedom of choice as to how to plead in criminal … Continue reading

Asbestos exclusion upheld in US

An exclusion for claims ‘arising out of asbestos’ was upheld by a US appeal court because it is unambiguous and therefore enforceable. The appeal court overturned a $36 million judgment against the insurer, which is only part of the policyholder’s liability for $120 million worth of asbestos-related claims. The court did not accept the argument that the … Continue reading

Claim rejected for misrepresentation (US)

A Pennsylvania court held that the insurer was not liable because of misrepresentation for a portion of a $227 million settlement by a building owner arising from a building collapse that took seven lives and injured 12 people. The event happened as a result of an uncontrolled collapse of a four-storey building which was being demolished … Continue reading
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