In 2019 the Cologne Higher Regional Court issued a decision on the scope of the right to information under the EU General Data Protection Regulation that has enormous implications for insurers that collect or process personal data. The court held that the right to information covers not only the so-called 'master data' in the relationship between the insurer and the policyholder, but also telephone and conversation notes that the insurer has stored, used and processed with reference to the policyholder.
The Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) has released a decision that reiterates a key guiding principle in proceedings brought to enforce an insurer's duty to defend: the court must carefully review the underlying pleading and focus on the true nature of the claim, not simply the words used by the plaintiff in the underlying claim, to determine whether any of the claims could potentially be covered by the policy. The ONCA overturned a lower court judge who the court stated had failed to properly conduct this analysis.
When concluding insurance contracts, applicants have a duty of disclosure. However, applicants need not disclose information unless the insurer enquires. Insurers' remedy for breach of this duty varies. They can either rescind the contract and keep the premium or rescind the contract but return the premium. However, insurers have no right to rescind the contract if they underwrote it fully aware that the applicant had not provided honest answers.
For several years, stakeholders in the Indian insurance sector have wanted the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit for Indian insurers to be increased to 74% in parity with the FDI limit applicable to the private banking sector. The finance minister recently announced that the FDI cap for Indian insurers will be increased from 49% to 74%. The increase in FDI for insurers is a key development at a time when new investments in the insurance space have been limited.
This survey is now closed.
The Ontario Insurance Act requires that every property insurance contract in the province gives the parties a right to require that disagreements about the amount of an insured loss be resolved via an appraisal process. However, the principles applicable to appraisals are often not well understood. A recent case seems to be the latest example of this and is necessary reading for any insured thinking about invoking an appraisal.
In 2019 the Stuttgart Regional Court considered a dispute about claims for damages following a vehicle transfer from Turkey to Germany. Following a traffic accident, the plaintiff delivered the vehicle to a workshop and notified the defendant of damage to the roof of the vehicle and the loss of various items that were allegedly in the vehicle. The court held that the defendant was not liable for the alleged theft of the items.
The overlapping of construction activities is a project management technique which helps a project to be completed as quickly as possible. However, it inherently leads to increased risk and can jeopardise the insurance cover in place. In a recent case, the Greek courts found that the multiple damages which one constructor had caused to another's works were not sudden and unforeseen and did not qualify as one event.
The Supreme Court is currently considering whether it will, for the third time, grant leave to appeal in respect of a procedural dispute in the wake of the 2015 collision between two vessels. Jurisdiction in Norway was originally sought on the basis that one of the vessel's protection and indemnity insurers was Norwegian. The previous decisions concerned the interpretation of the Lugano Convention and the question of whether the Norwegian courts are competent to assume jurisdiction in this matter.
Business in the insurance sector has become increasingly transnational. It is not only insurers based in Sweden or other EEA countries that target the Swedish market, but also insurers from outside the European Economic Area that seek ways to offer their products in Sweden. This article sheds some light on the definition of insurance business under Swedish law and under what circumstances international insurers based outside the European Economic Area can conduct insurance business in Sweden.
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority has issued a general administrative act regulating the conduct and run-off of cross-border business of insurers in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland or Gibraltar. What does this mean for insurers based in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland or Gibraltar in respect of their cross-border activities in Germany and for German insurers in respect of their cross-border activities in the United Kingdom?
IVASS (the Italian insurance regulator) has approved changes to its Regulation 14 of 18 February 2008 concerning portfolio transfers. The order affects domestic (ie, Italian) insurers and Italian branches of third-country insurers involved in a portfolio transfer transaction and those entitled to insurance benefits deriving from polices issued by the ceding undertaking. The changes aim to allow greater flexibility in the management of insurance business.
Insurance applications can be challenging but being diligent is important as an insurer may deny coverage of a claim if an insured incorrectly answered a question or failed to disclose material information. On the other hand, insureds should be aware that the courts will scrutinise claims of inadequate disclosure on a reasonableness basis.
The National Council for Private Insurance recently issued a resolution which introduces into the Brazilian market special purpose local reinsurers (SPLRs) and insurance-linked securities, to be issued by SPLRs. The resolution is a welcome example of efforts by the Brazilian market to create an environment which fosters innovation, by seeking to expand its financial capacity and creating new mechanisms to transfer risks, ultimately bridging the gap between the capital and insurance markets.
The Central District Court recently dismissed a claim filed by a plaintiff against a gas supplier and its insurer and determined that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the claim event had been a gas explosion and the gas supplier's alleged negligence. The court accepted all of the arguments raised in the written summaries filed on behalf of the defendants and determined that, among other things, the plaintiff did not own the business where the alleged event had occurred so was not entitled to compensation.
In two previous verdicts a district court found that prorogation of jurisdiction can be validly agreed in a yacht insurance contract, even where consumer interests are concerned and the contract requires that legal proceedings be brought in a court in the insurer's home country. In a recent decision, a high court found that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should be asked for a preliminary ruling. The question for the ECJ is does the EU directive regarding 'large risks' include vessels bought for private use?
In 2020 a complaint was brought against General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) Re before the Competition Commission of India (CCI), stating that GIC Re had enhanced reinsurance rates through the implementation of certain circulars and endorsements and incorporated a contagious disease exclusion. The CCI has dismissed the complaint, holding that the allegations of GIC Re's abuse of a dominant position and imposition of excessive and unfair pricing are without basis.
The Northern District of Illinois recently declined to stay an action for declaratory relief relating to an insurance coverage dispute arising out of the ongoing Clearview litigation. The court held that the determination of whether an insurance policy applied did not require the resolution of facts relating to the policyholder's alleged violations of Illinois's Biometric Information Privacy Act.
As expected, the terms of the trade deal agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union mean that Solvency II passporting rights are no longer available to UK insurers wishing to conduct insurance business in the European Economic Area. What is clear in relation to both legacy and new business is that firms must communicate with customers and keep them informed of any new developments that may affect their enjoyment of their policies.
The Act of 19 December 2020 implementing the Budget Act 2021 introduced into the Insurance Contract Act a new provision to secure the outcome of insurance policies underwritten by UK insurers post-Brexit. Among other things, the legislature has relieved any doubt as to the validity of insurance contracts in the event that an EEA or third-country insurance undertaking loses its approval to carry out direct insurance operations in Luxembourg while retaining its authorisation in its home state.