Spire and RSA contest aggregation again

In Spire Healthcare Limited v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Limited [2022] EWCA Civ 17, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision and held that two groups of claims based on the negligent practice of the same surgeon should be aggregated. Irrespective of which group the claims fell into, the unifying factor between them was the surgeon's dishonest improper conduct. Read more

UK insurance regulation – looking forward to 2022

After a year of upheaval for the UK insurance sector in 2021, there seems little prospect of 2022 being any quieter. From a regulatory perspective, 2021 began with the end of the Brexit transition period.  And while firms operating in UK insurance markets have been insulated from the full impact of Brexit during 2021, this … Read more

AI, Big Data and insurance regulation

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the ever-increasing volume of data (Big Data) are transforming how financial services and products are delivered.  The insurance sector is keen to explore the opportunities that both provide for innovation and gains in efficiency and effectiveness. Indeed, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) suggested earlier this year that over 30% … Read more

Court of Appeal holds insurers to the “clear terms” of the policy

The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in ABN Amro Bank N.V. v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc and others [2021] EWCA Civ 1789.  At first instance, the court had found that an “unusual” and “unprecedented” clause provided credit risk cover in an all risks marine cargo policy. Most of the decision … Read more

FCA consults on the new Consumer Duty

The FCA has published Consultation Paper 21/36 (CP 21/36) which includes proposed new rules and guidance setting out a Consumer Duty which it considers will “fundamentally shift the mindset of firms” and establish an appropriate level of care to consumers. The consultation is open until 15 February 2022 and the FCA expects to confirm any final rules by the … Read more

Non-disclosure of criminal charges – first Insurance Act 2015 avoidance

The High Court has considered again the issue of non-disclosure of criminal charges against an innocent insured and found that an insurer could avoid a policy under the Insurance Act 2015 (the 2015 Act): Berkshire Assets (West London) Ltd v AXA Insurance UK Plc [2021] EWHC 2689 (Comm). This is understood to be one of the first avoidance judgments for breach of the duty of fair presentation under the 2015 Act. The insurer in this case was assisted by an internal practice note which showed it did not have authority to write the risk had it been told about the non-disclosure at the time of placement. Read more

What’s on the menu? Insurers must ask the right questions at placement

In Ristorante Limited T/A Bar Massimo v Zurich Insurance Plc [2021] EWHC 2538 (Ch), the Court considered the interpretation and legal effect of a question asked by an insurer to a prospective insured around prior insolvency issues. The insured agreed with the insurer’s question, as framed, that there were no prior insolvency issues. Insurers failed … Read more