The role of insurance in oiling the wheels of business is often underestimated; until it vanishes. We regularly see the havoc caused when insurance does not respond as intended and advise on how to put it right. Insurers may try to avoid insurance, leaving the insured as if the cover never existed, or they may try to reduce the benefit paid out.
And whenever insurance is in doubt, the broker who gave advice on what type of policy to take out, what level of cover was needed or obtained it from insurers can be found wanting.
We work with you to decide on the optimum strategy to resolve the issue, balancing the cost to your business (both internally and its legal spend) with the commercial outcome that you want to achieve. Our focus is on project management to include early dispute avoidance and ADR. We try to help our clients find an alternative and/or avoid, if possible, what could be time consuming and costly litigation.
If a court claim cannot be avoided then we are well resourced to handle all types of insurance claim, even the most complex and document heavy.
Our team has recently handled the following types of claim acting for businesses, large and small, charities and individuals against some of the leading insurance companies in the UK such as Aviva, Axa, Prudential, Legal and General, several leading Lloyd’s Syndicates and Cigna:
- Claiming £7m for a company against its broker when its insurer failed to pay on a significant fire loss.
- Claiming against an insurance broker who failed to place adequate cover for several very high value industrial vehicles that were destroyed at a depot.
- Advising on the terms of public liability insurance to establish the extent of cover for specific events.
- Advising on the scope of Directors and Officers cover.
- Making critical illness recoveries and advising in relation to a key member of staff.
- Property insurance claims following fire, flood or theft.
- We have also successfully recovered damages for uninsured losses, where insurance has dealt with the main element of damage but residual losses remain.
Our experience is that insurers are quick to decline cover but, on a more careful evaluation of the claim and the applicable legal and regulatory obligations, insurance can be reinstated and claims paid. Over recent years the legal landscape for insurance has altered significantly and businesses benefit from the latest legislation came into force in August 2016.
We can offer arrangements for price certainty to allow you to budget accurately. We can manage the entire dispute or just take on a specific aspect such as a disclosure exercise, depending on what resource you already have in place and how you want to manage the issue.
To discuss your insurance dispute claim please contact Susan Hopcraft. Susan worked for over 10 years specialising in insurance litigation for a leading London firm, based in the Lloyd’s Building in the early years of her career and also taking in a secondment to a major international insurance broker. She therefore has an intimate knowledge of the workings of the London insurance market.
The time limits for insurance dispute claims differ slightly from other compensation areas. The limits are six years from placement for the broker and six years from failure to indemnify for insurer.
If you would like any advice on your insurance dispute, please contact us for an initial consultation.