April 12, 2016

Shock horror: “Innocent Non-Disclosure” clause applies to innocent non-disclosure

A case reported on 23 March involved a provision which one might ordinarily have described as an “Innocent Non-Disclosure” clause (albeit it was not entitled that): it protected the policyholder against the consequences of any material non-disclosure unless it had been “deliberate or fraudulent”. The Insurers had nevertheless attempted to argue that the clause did not apply where the policyholder had failed to disclose information as a result of an honest but mistaken belief that the information had not needed to be disclosed.

Predictably enough(?), the court (Coulson J) rejected the Insurers’ arguments, holding that they would lead to an “absurd [and] wholly unbusiness-like result”.

Why did Insurers even take the point? Surely it wasn’t simply because there was almost £18m at stake?

See Mutual Energy Ltd v Starr Underwriting & Travellers

The full judgment is here:

Jonathan Corman is a Partner at Fenchurch Law.

Fenchurch Law Ltd shortlisted for Insurance Law Firm of the Year Award

Fenchurch Law Ltd has been shortlisted for the second time for the Insurance Law Firm of the Year in the prestigious Claims Awards 2016, which celebrate excellence and innovation in the general insurance claims sector.
The Insurance Law Firm of the Year Award recognises technical ability and the application of innovative ideas and customer service within legal services.

Managing Partner David Pryce commented: “We are very pleased to have been shortlisted for this award again. Since founding Fenchurch Law in 2010, our aim has not only been to lead the market for complex policyholder coverage disputes in the UK but also to innovate in the interests of the policyholder and broker. Putting policyholders first is at the heart of everything we do and over the last 12 months we have continued to put in place a number of unique funding arrangements for policyholders across the UK and secured over £9 million in payments from insurers.

Final winners will be announced at The Claims Awards evening at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on the 2nd June.