Tag archives: Insurance

A pension fund cannot challenge the Pension Fund Adjudicator’s section 37C decision

A pension fund failed in its application for reconsideration of the Pension Fund Adjudicator’s (PFA) decision to refer the matter back to the fund for reconsideration because, according to the Financial Services Tribunal the fund is not a ‘person aggrieved’ as required by section 230 of the Financial Sector Regulation Act of 2017. The fund … Continue reading

Insurance fraud and fraud clauses

The Supreme Court of Appeal in an April 2021 judgment dealt with the interpretation and  application of a fraud clause found in the policy.. The clause read: “If you, or anyone acting on your behalf submits a claim, or any information or documentation relating to a claim, that is in any way fraudulent, dishonest or … Continue reading

Covid-19 claim rejected because of virus exception (US)

A Kentucky US district court rejected the business interruption insurance claim of a retail business specialising in sale of outdoor sportswear and equipment for losses suffered as a result of government restrictions following the outbreak of Covid-19. The all-risks policy covered physical loss and damage but excluded damage caused directly or indirectly regardless of any … Continue reading

Insurance policies and absolute and relative warranties

In South African insurance law a warranty is usually a condition precedent to inception or continuation of cover or payment of a claim.  The consequence of breach or non-fulfilment is that there is no obligation on the insurer to indemnify the insured. Warranties may be absolute or relative. An obligation requiring that a certain state … Continue reading

Subrogated claim against fire-causing students rejected because students were insureds (US)

The insurer was denied the right to sue two former college students for $4.5 million the insurer had paid to the school after the students accidentally set fire to the dormitory.  It was held that the students accommodated in dormitories were equivalent to tenants and insured under the school’s fire policy. The two students used a … Continue reading

Policy interpretation – prevention of access

The United Kingdom Supreme Court in the FCA Test Case appeal dealt with the meaning of “prevention of access” in respect of the prevention of access due to the actions or advice of the local authority because of an emergency which is likely to endanger life or property in a Business Interruption policy. The relevant … Continue reading

Claim for loss of use of building precluded by ‘impaired property’ exclusion (US)

A conveyor company failed in its claim against its insurers for a loss arising from the supply of a defective cookie packaging machine to a biscuit manufacturer because the policy specifically excluded coverage for “impaired property”.  The claim by the biscuit manufacturer against the insured alleged that they were unable to use their new building … Continue reading

New York regulator issues a cyber-insurance risk framework

Concerned about pandemic-related extra cyber activity, the rise in ransomware and recent cyber-espionage campaigns, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a cyber-insurance risk framework on 4 February 2021. After describing the risks for insurers and concluding that insurers play a critical role in mitigating and reducing the risks of cyber-crime, the … Continue reading

Think twice before rejecting a Calderbank offer

In May 2019 the Bloemfontein High Court confirmed that a secret offer which is made by any party to a damages claim (including the plaintiff) to save costs will affect the costs order.  Such an offer is known as a Calderbank offer with origins in English law and similar principles apply in the South African … Continue reading

Policyholder can assign benefits without consent

A Florida appeals court held that a homeowner could assign the benefits under her insurance policy to an emergency water mitigation company without the insurer’s consent. According to the property policy “assignment of this policy will not be valid unless we give our written consent.” After the insured house was flooded the policyholder hired the … Continue reading

Insurers proving material non-disclosure

An insurer who wants to avoid a policy must prove a material non-disclosure by the insured on a balance of probabilities. That is normally done by way of leading oral evidence and the process of cross-examination. It is unusual, although not unheard of, for oral evidence to be dispensed with and questions of non-disclosure to … Continue reading

Fracking and insurance

Insurers considering providing cover for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should bear in mind the unique features of fracking which present both risks and opportunities. South African insurers have the benefit of experience from the United States for the pricing and limiting of risks. Fracking may pose risks which are not present in conventional drilling methods. More … Continue reading

The disclosure test is in the insurance act

Section 59 of the Long-term Insurance Act and section 53 of the Short-term Insurance Act deal with misrepresentation and non-disclosure. The supreme court of appeal’s judgment in Visser v 1 Life Direct Insurance Limited correctly founded the entitlement of an insurer to reject a claim on statute. The insurance acts say that a policy cannot … Continue reading

Power outage is not direct physical loss or damage (USA case)

In a case arising from Superstorm Sandy in north eastern USA, the plaintiff lawyers claimed a business interruption loss from its property insurance company because the electricity company’s decision to shut down certain electrical services to prevent damage meant they could not enter their building for days. The court found this did not amount to … Continue reading

Russian sanctions could affect reinsurance

Insurers must remember that jurisdictions in which the world’s major insurers operate such as the EU, Switzerland and the USA have imposed sanctions against Russia. Russian corporations and shareholders may be named on a sanctions list which will affect the enforceability of any reinsurance of a policy where a listed person is indemnified. There are … Continue reading

Joan Rivers’ daughter claims compensation after alleged medical malpractice: wrongful death actions

Melissa Rivers, the daughter of the late Fashion Police star, Joan Rivers, is reportedly instituting a wrongful death claim against the medical practitioners who treated her mom prior to her death in September 2014. A wrongful death claim can be instituted in South Africa based on negligence which results in death, although this is not … Continue reading

Right to intermediary commission

The Retail Distribution Review has reminded us that in 2010 the appeal court in Maree v Chris Booysen t/a NVM Beleggings & Versekeringsadviseurs found that the long-term intermediary was not entitled to an advice fee. Earnings were restricted to a fee for services as intermediary under the Long-term Insurance Act. The matter went through three … Continue reading
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