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Frequently where burglary and theft claims are involved there is a tendency by insureds to inflate the actual amount of the claim and where this is detected insurers often refuse to pay the claim for fraud or over-capitalisation of loss. There are a myriad of matters which have come to our attention where this has been the case, where the insurer has failed to understand the basis of the insurance contract which they have issued and to apply the Insurance Contracts Act in the circumstances.
Insurers refused to grant indemnity in circumstances where our client’s business premises had been fire-bombed and thereby totally destroyed. Unfortunately his former solicitor succeeded in alienating both the insurance investigator and loss adjuster which meant the claim was denied further complicating the situation.
Often building claims are denied by insurers because of issues associated with defects. This is not where there are defects caused during the course of construction as they fall to be considered under a different part of the law. Originally building and construction defects to domestic premises were covered under building warranty or home warranty insurance policies, however this is no longer the case as these policies now only cover the death, disappearance or insolvency of the builder.
Motor Vehicle claims
Due to the enormity of the volume of motor vehicle claims sometimes they are denied for insufficient reason. One of the reasons which motor vehicle insurers find seductively appealing when denying motor vehicle theft claims comes back to how, when and why it was reported; the method and means employed by the insured to recover it; the insured’s movements for at least 12 hours prior to the time of loss; and the place from which it was stolen to name but a few. Suffice to say that these denials are often misconceived, lack legal substance and normally involve situations where insufficient material has been obtained by the insurer before refusing the claim.
Professional Negligence Claims
We are dealing with an increasing number of professional indemnity claims against solicitors. Often these arise out of failure to properly advise their clients or where statues of limitation and staff issues intrude. Obviously there is a tension between properly advising a client and what a client can afford given the circumstances of each particular matter. Irrespective your former solicitor would have been under a duty of care to act at all times in your best interest in the provision of his/her professional services to you. Where your former solicitor has acted outside widely accepted peer professional opinion in the provision of services to you then you may have a claim for professional negligence against your solicitor. In all of these circumstances the plaintiff has to be able to provide that they suffered real damage and mere inconvenience is insufficient.
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