Commercial Court provides guidance on interaction between aggregation and excess clauses

In Spire Healthcare v Royal Sun Alliance Insurance plc [2016] EWHC 3278, the claimant sought declarations to the effect that an insurance policy it held with the defendant insurer contained no operative aggregation clause such that the total cover available to it would be £20m (the aggregate limit of the policy). The claimant also contended that if it was wrong, and an aggregation clause did exist (such that the maximum cover available would be £10m (the per claim limit of the policy)), then there should also be aggregation in respect of the excess payable in relation to each claim, so that a single excess of £25,000  should be payable in respect of a group of aggregated claims. The defendant took the opposite position, contending that there should be aggregation in relation to the limits of cover, but none in relation to the excess. The claimant (an operator of a number of hospitals) sought the declarations due to the large number of negligence claims it faced arising from the conduct of a single consultant surgeon.

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#Brexit & Solvency II: Cooley publishes evidence submitted to Treasury Committee’s Solvency II inquiry

#Brexit & Solvency II: Cooley publishes evidence submitted to Treasury Committee’s Solvency II inquiry | Financial Services – Regulation & Risk

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Commercial Court dismisses appeal by reinsurers disputing that certain losses arising from the World Trade Centre attack in 2001 arose from one event

In Simmonds v Gammell [2016] EWHC 2515 (Comm) the respondent insurer had participated in various layers of an excess liability insurance programme, insuring the Port of New York (PONY). The appellant reinsurer had participated in one of the relevant reinsurance contracts, reinsuring the respondent. The reinsurance contract provided cover of US$1.5 million, excess of $1 million, in respect of “each and every loss”. Loss was defined as a “loss…or a series thereof arising from one event”.

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Brexit:UK Government Loses Article 50 Argument in High Court

Chris Finney and Mark Deem have published an alert on the recent High Court decision in relation to the triggering of Article 50, which can be read here.

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Supreme Court determines that an insurer can set aside a settlement of a personal injury claim even if, at the time of settlement, the insurer suspected fraud by the claimant.

In Hayward v Zurich Insurance Company plc [2016] UKSC 48, the Supreme Court held that the insurer, Zurich, which had settled a personal injury claim by the claimant, Mr Hayward, despite suspecting fraud on the part of the claimant, was entitled to set aside the settlement on the later discovery of proof of fraud. Zurich did not have to prove that it settled the claim because it believed that Mr Hayward’s misrepresentations about the extent of his injuries were true. Zurich simply had to show that it had been influenced by the misrepresentations in agreeing the settlement.

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Insurance Act: Underwriter’s Checklist

Cooley has recently published an underwriter’s checklist to assist in navigating the Insurance Act 2015, which comes into force on 12 August 2016. It can be accessed here.

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Supreme Court rules that “collateral lies” are no bar to a claim on an insurance policy

In Versloot Dredging v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG [2016] UKSC 45, the Supreme Court held that a claim which is supported by a fraudulent narrative will not be subject to forfeiture under the fraudulent claims rule provided that the claim itself was valid and that the lie had no bearing on the validity of the claim.

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