BLM’s team of policy experts is experienced in advising across the whole range of insurance issues, including policy wording, coverage, indemnity and recovery across a number of specialist areas.
Our Policy Indemnity Unit brings together skilled lawyers across our UK-wide business, with expertise in advising on policy indemnity and coverage matters. The unit responds to fundamental issues that arise in relation to the following areas:
We are conscious of our insurer clients’ obligations to treat customers fairly and the need to ensure their liability is realised and understood at the earliest possible opportunity.
Road Traffic Accidents
Given the breadth of motor indemnity law, our team offers a bespoke service specifically focusing on the motor insurers’ liability to pay for third-party injuries and property damage caused by a road traffic accident under simple contract and by virtue of Part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (‘RTA’). We regularly advise on:
Policy wording issues
General exclusions and general conditions
Dual insurance terms
Statutory control of policy terms
Extensions to compulsory cover, e.g. driving other vehicle(s)
Avoidance and cancellation rights
Direct rights of action.
We also cover the insurer’s duty to meet any unsatisfied judgment in respect of liability for death or personal injury arising from use of a motor vehicle virtue of section 151 RTA 1988, advising upon rights of recovery, the requirement for notice, unauthorised drivers and contribution claims.
Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)
We provide technical and practical guidance relating to MIB obligations under the Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement including potential indemnity considerations involving meaningful degree, identification and interpretation and application of Article 75 and potential third party insurer involvement/liability.
Contractual Policy Coverage
Our team of lawyers are experienced in advising insurers on all types of contractual policy coverage issues from breach of warranties, policy conditions or exclusions to non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts and consideration as to avoidance. We regularly advise on a wide range of issues relating to the insurance contract and the indemnity it provides, including issues of contribution, basis of settlement, insurable interest and waiver or estoppel.
Another area of specialism is the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representation) Act 2012, the Insurance Act 2015 and more recently damages for late payment of insurance claims under the Enterprise Act 2016. We are regularly asked to advise on the impact of the legislation on policy indemnity and insurers’ rights under the policy.
In addition to providing advice or guidance to insurers on these types of issues, we have also successfully supported our insurer clients, on many claims, through the Financial Ombudsman Complaints process and litigation with our focus being to drive the cases to the best outcome at the earliest opportunity.
Our knowledgeable team advises on a wide variety of different cases including those where there are multiple insurers potentially on risk for a particular claim or event; employer’s liability, motor, or public liability insurers. Our work frequently involves unravelling and interpreting policy wording to identify the correct insurer, liaising with brokers and underwriters, and advising on tactics and strategy in light of our investigations.
Some of the cases we advise on involve hire replacement vehicles and competing motor insurer policies, as well as examining rival escape and excess clauses.
We specialise in a wide range of complex policy indemnity issues and policy interpretation work including invoking and declining claims based on a “fraud clause”, the application and interpretation of the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 and the Insurance Act 2015 dealing with the pre-contractual duty of disclosure and the insurer’s remedies when presented with a fraudulent claim.
We have particular experience of claims involving misrepresentations and non-disclosures of material fact by commercial entities and high net worth individuals, and of claims involving fraudulent exaggeration and the use of fraudulent devices, dealing with large and complex “suspicious” commercial and consumer/personal lines property damage claims predominantly involving fires and arson, staged thefts, malicious damage and escape of water incidents.
We also provide a commercial fraud recovery service, with a particular focus on claims demanding or responding to injunctive relief as well as acting for both claimant and defendant in property damage litigation, advising on the application of corporate crime policies, and issues of late notification, breach of warranty and conditions precedent, claims conditions and the application of policy exclusions in a fraud context.
We represent a wide range of clients from insurers to public authorities, retail organisations, major bus companies, freight operators, self-drive hire companies and travel operators advising on the fraud implications on policy coverage including contractual, RTA and Article 75 liability, and insurance contracts, as well as staged and contrived accidents, fraudulent exaggeration, motor and casualty claims fraud.