Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010

26 April 2010
By Michael Hayes

The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 which received Royal Assent on 25.03.2010 has amended previous legislation governing the relationship between insurers and claimants. Its intention is to make it easier, quicker and cheaper to make a claim against the insurers of insolvent defendants.

The previous Act required a claimant to establish an insolvent defendant’s liability before being able to pursue a claim against insurers. This meant issuing proceedings against the defendant before being able to issue (separate) proceedings against the insurer. The 2010 Act now allows claimants to issue proceedings directly against the insurer in which all issues, including the defendant’s liability, can be established.

Insurers are now no longer entitled to rely on conditions in the policy made impossible by the insured’s insolvency or terms which render the policy ineffective due to the insured’s insolvency. The insurer is still though entitled to rely on defences against the claimant which it could have used against its own insured.