- Check the certificate of insurance—the importance of getting the entities right (Sehayek v Amtrust Europe)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Insurance & Reinsurance analysis: The court considered preliminary issues in a claim made against a Local Authority Building Control (LABC) New Homes Structural Warranty insurance policy. The homeowners had purchased a newly built penthouse apartment from Grove End Gardens Ltd, but the certificate of insurance named the ‘developer’ as Dekra Developments Ltd (a company associated with Grove End Gardens Ltd to the extent the claimants observed that both companies were owned and operated by common directors and shareholders). The underwriter defended the action on the basis that the policy definition of ‘developer’ required the homeowners to have purchased the property from the developer named on the certificate of insurance. The claimant argued that the court should read the name on the certificate of insurance to encompass ‘associated companies’ as a matter of construction or implied terms. Alternatively, the claimants raised ‘fallback’ claims in waiver and estoppel that the underwriter’s conduct (a) when issuing the policy, and (b) handling the claim, denied it from raising the developer issue by way of defence. The court dismissed the claimants’ arguments in the entirety, thereby dismissing the action. Written by Richard Marshall, partner at Shoosmiths LLP.
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