Latest updates

Insurance solicitation using web conferencing systems
Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
  • Japan
  • 24 November 2020

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, insurance solicitation using Zoom and other web-based conferencing systems has attracted more attention than ever before since such systems enable insurance solicitors and customers to visually communicate with each other from remote locations. However, what level of customer protection is required for insurance solicitation using web conferencing systems when compared with traditional insurance solicitation?

Welcome changes to large-risks sector
CAL - Costa, Albino & Lasalvia Advogados
  • Brazil
  • 10 November 2020

In a welcome move to distinguish large risks from 'seguros massificados' (ie, mass insurance), the Superintendence of Private Insurance has proposed changes to the regulation of large risks through the issuance of the Draft Resolution for Public Consultation 18/2020. The draft resolution represents an important potential turning point in the Brazilian insurance and reinsurance landscape, correcting an imbalance in favour of policyholders, at least to some degree.

New ANIA self-regulation codes for co-insurance in non-life and life insurance
DLA Piper
  • Italy
  • 10 November 2020

In March 2020 the National Association of Insurance Companies approved the new self-regulation codes for co-insurance in non-life and life insurance, replacing the previous codes. Essentially, the new codes set out standard clauses governing the relationship between co-insurers. They apply to co-insurance agreements entered into effective from 1 January 2020. The previous codes can be used only up until 31 December 2020.

Supreme Court rules on insurers' liability for damages
Mannheimer Swartling
  • Sweden
  • 03 November 2020

A recent Supreme Court judgment has clarified that the general principle of contract law, prescribing liability for damages in case of a breach of contract, can apply to corporate insurance contracts despite their unique features. Although the Supreme Court's judgment is limited to corporate insurance, it is difficult to see any reason against applying the same principles with respect to insurers' breach of insurance contracts taken out by consumers.

Standard life insurance products: new regulatory requirements
Tuli & Co
  • India
  • 03 November 2020

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) recently issued the Guidelines on Standard Individual Term Life Insurance Product. The guidelines aim to introduce a plain, individual term life insurance product with simple features and standard terms and conditions that would meet an average customer's requirements. All life insurers must now offer the prescribed standard product on or before 1 January 2021 with the IRDAI's requisite approval.

Courts decide whether insurance broker with 100% of shares held by insurer was independent and neutral
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 03 November 2020

According to German law, there is a strict separation between brokers and agents; German intermediaries must decide whether they wish to act as brokers on the side of policyholders or as agents as representatives on the side of insurers. They cannot act as both. The Munich Higher Regional Court recently ruled on the matter and the verdict was rather surprising.

Lack of safety measures does not repudiate coverage as long as insurer has collected premium
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • 20 October 2020

A recent case dealt with the question of whether an insured is entitled to insurance benefits for the loss of their car by theft when it lacked the security measures required by the insurer. The Insurance Contract Law enables the award of partial benefits (Article 18), but in this case the insurer presented no evidence to support the application of this remedy. Thus, the court ordered the insurer to pay the full claim.

Insurance event and periodisation of insurance cover – interpretation and revision of insurance contracts
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Norway
  • 20 October 2020

The Supreme Court recently confirmed several important starting points relevant to the periodisation of an insurance event for the assessment of cover. The ruling addressed issues relating to both defining insurance periods and determining when insurance events occur. The Supreme Court also addressed the question of what is required to revise an insurance agreement pursuant to Section 36 of the Contract Act on unreasonable contract terms.

Insurance Distribution Directive and product oversight and governance – new IVASS measures enacted
DLA Piper
  • Italy
  • 06 October 2020

With two measures introduced in August 2020, IVASS (the Italian insurance regulator) has approved changes and certain rules – effective as of 31 March 2021 – to various IVASS regulations concerning distribution and product oversight and governance for insurers and distributors. This article highlights the main changes.

Judgment handed down in FCA's COVID-19 business interruption insurance test case
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 October 2020

The High Court has handed down judgment in the COVID-19 business interruption insurance test case of The Financial Conduct Authority v Arch. Following expedited proceedings, the judgment brings highly anticipated guidance on the proper operation of cover under certain non-damage business interruption insurance extensions.

Recharge of sum insured: whose duty and what are the consequences of failing to do so?
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 06 October 2020

In a recent ruling on the recharge of the sum insured in a project liability insurance policy, the Danish Building and Construction Arbitration Board ruled that the obligation to recharge was incumbent on the policyholder (adviser), regardless of whether the client had requested it or not. This article examines the ruling and highlights the conditions that parties should be aware of when refilling.

No faulty workmanship in Alberta Court of Appeal's interpretation of common exclusion clause
Theall Group LLP
  • Canada
  • 06 October 2020

The Alberta Court of Appeal recently addressed a recurring coverage issue: the conflict between the broad protection intended by an 'all perils' property insurance policy and an exclusion for the costs of making good faulty workmanship. Based in part on the general purpose of such insurance, the decision held that property damage directly caused by the faulty workmanship of a contractor was covered, as long as it was outside the scope of work for which the contractor had been hired.

Yacht hull insurance: coverage if insured was unaware that yacht was unfit to sail
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 06 October 2020

In 2019 the Flensburg court considered damage to a sailing yacht which had occurred during a sailing regatta (ie, a series of boat races) in 2010. The judgment strengthens the legal position of insureds with yacht hull insurance. It highlights that insurers have the onus to prove that the insured was aware of the unseaworthiness when the voyage commenced. It is not enough to prove the unseaworthiness – insurers must prove that the owner was aware thereof.

Supreme Court rules on 3% capitalisation interest for subrogation claims filed by NII
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • 06 October 2020

The Supreme Court recently answered a crucial question which could affect the reserves for bodily injury claims of all Israeli insurers and hence affect their balance sheets. According to the decision, the relevant annual capitalisation interest that should apply in respect of subrogation claims filed by the National Insurance Institute (NII) is 3% regardless of the fact that the NII paid allowances to the injured based on an annual capitalisation interest of 2%.

That's cold: insurer ordered to defend claims made against cold storage provider
Theall Group LLP
  • Canada
  • 22 September 2020

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ordered an insurer to defend claims made against its insured's cold storage business, which was sued when its warehouse thawed and damaged its customer's food products. This case illustrates that it is important to always review a policy's specific words to determine what it covers rather than rely on received wisdom about what a policy typically covers.

Concurrent duty to defend – a team sport
Theall Group LLP
  • Canada
  • 15 September 2020

In a recent case, the Ontario Court of Appeal addressed three important elements of the duty to defend where there is concurrent coverage under two policies – namely, whether there was a concurrent duty to defend given the existence of an 'other insurance' clause, the obligation to pay ongoing costs and its allocation and the right to participate in the defence.

WFOE shopping: how do Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen compare for establishing an insurance WFOE in China?
AnJie Law Firm
  • China
  • 15 September 2020

Foreign insurers cannot directly sell insurance products in China unless they have successfully established a joint venture or wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) insurer in mainland China. In light of Shenzhen's recent pilots and reforms, it is now the most favourable destination for foreign insurers seeking to establish a WFOE in mainland China.

Distance insurance contracts: points to consider during pre-contractual phase
NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg S.à r.l.
  • International
  • 15 September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the usefulness of new communication techniques and provided greater legitimacy to digitalisation projects in the broader context of adapting to new consumer expectations. The insurance sector is not immune to these changes. This article provides a review of the provisions on distance insurance contracts, which reveals that insurers are subject to complex pre-contractual obligations to which particular attention should be paid prior to the conclusion of contracts.

Pandemic delay clause in Nordic marine loss of hire insurance
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Norway
  • 15 September 2020

In marine insurance, business interruption is covered by loss of hire (LoH) insurance. LoH is a separate insurance for loss of time caused by a casualty and linked to the hull and machinery insurance for the insured vessel or unit when it covers repair costs. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed will not be considered a 'casualty' for an insured vessel or unit. However, for marine casualties caused by other perils, it is clear that COVID-19 has led and will lead to significant prolongations of repair periods.

Regulatory changes for reinsurers
CAL - Costa, Albino & Lasalvia Advogados
  • Brazil
  • 08 September 2020

The National Council for Private Insurance – the Brazilian entity in charge of drawing up the country's reinsurance industry policies – recently introduced a series of changes to the regulatory landscape. Such changes aim to enforce the wider liberal agenda set out by the Ministry of the Economy and underline the federal government's commitment to a more liberalised economy.

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