Levitan, Sharon & Co updates

What is considered an 'accident' under Montreal Convention?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • December 13 2017

The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court recently declined a passenger's claim for bodily injury damages after it concluded that the event which was the subject matter of the claim was not considered to be an 'accident' as defined by the Montreal Convention. The plaintiff had filed a claim against El Al, arguing that he had been injured after eating a cake served to passengers.

Court declines jewellers' block claim, accepting argument of fraud
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • October 24 2017

The Central District Court recently declined a jewellers' block policy claim after the insurers proved that the claim had been filed with fraudulent intent. The case concerned an Israeli diamonteer who claimed that $10 million worth of diamonds had been stolen from him under the threat of violence. However, following an investigation by the insurers, it was revealed that a number of the stolen diamonds were still in the claimant's possession after the alleged robbery.

Interpretation of cancelled flight under Aviation Services Law
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • October 11 2017

The Rehovot Magistrate Court recently ruled that a flight that had departed on time, but been forced to return to the point of departure following a five-hour flight due to technical malfunctions, was a cancelled flight in accordance with the Aviation Services Law. Although there is no binding precedent, the courts have – in lower-instance decisions concerning the law – applied it in cases where the circumstances did not meet the literal interpretation of the law regarding cancelled flights.

Montreal Convention prevails over local law on limitation period
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • August 09 2017

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court recently dismissed a claim for bodily injury caused to a passenger during a flight, as the claim had been filed more than two years after the plaintiff had reached his destination. The court referred to the Montreal Convention and the Carriage by Air Law, which provide that the right to a claim will be extinguished after a two-year period, despite the local Limitation Law providing a seven-year limitation period from the date of an admission of liability.

Third-party liability or professional indemnity – which policy should apply?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • July 18 2017

There is a fine line between whether the act or omission of a tortfeasor is covered by a professional indemnity or public liability policy. To complicate the situation in Israel, professional indemnity policies are issued on a claims-made basis and public liability policies on an occurrence basis. The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court recently addressed these matters.

Failure to implement risk mitigation measures results in dismissal of insurance clause
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • May 30 2017

Before the Insurance Contract Law 1981 was enacted, failure to take protective measures could lead to a complete loss of benefits. However, following its entry into force, most court rulings have applied Article 21 of the law, which provides that if the insured fails to take risk mitigation measures as stipulated in the insurance contract, the insurer may be entitled to reduce the insured's benefits or even be discharged from liability.

Skyfail: technical malfunction which delayed flight considered special circumstances
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • May 17 2017

Since 2012 various lower court judgments have held that technical malfunctions which cause delays or cancellations to flights are not considered 'special circumstances' which exempt the carrier from paying the monetary compensation set by the Aviation Services Law. However, the Netanya Small Claims Court recently denied a claim and determined that a technical malfunction in an aircraft which caused a flight delay constituted special circumstances.

Draft directive will ensure quick and fair settlement of long-term care insurance claims
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • May 09 2017

The minister of finance and the commissioner of capital markets, insurance and long-term savings recently published a draft directive designed to ensure better treatment of insureds with long-term care insurance policies. The directive intends to shorten and simplify the claims process and increase insurers' objectivity when evaluating an insured's medical situation.

Are adult children considered dependants under Road Victims Compensation Law?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • March 28 2017

In a recent decision, the District Court examined the Road Victims Compensation Law's scope with regard to a deceased's adult children. The court ruled that even though the Road Victims Compensation Law does not define a 'dependant' as a minor, adult children are generally not considered to be dependants. The court will consider adult children as dependants only in rare circumstances based on evidence proving actual dependence and a lack of financial independence.

Supreme Court examines whether non-admitted insurer can file subrogation in its own name
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • February 21 2017

The Supreme Court recently tackled the question of whether a non-admitted insurer is entitled to file a subrogation claim in Israel in its own name. The court upheld the Central District Court judgment which approved a motion to strike out a subrogation claim. The judgment creates a distinction between the procedure by which an admitted or non-admitted insurer can file a claim against a party responsible for loss or damage.

Claims-made policy: is it necessary to notify an insurer about a potential claim?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • February 14 2017

The Tel Aviv District Court recently determined that a professional liability insurance policy on a 'claims-made' basis does not apply to claims filed against the insured after expiration of the policy for circumstances which were known to the insured during the policy's set timeframe, but were not notified to the insurer.

Who is the beneficiary in a personal accident insurance policy?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • January 17 2017

A plaintiff recently filed a statement of claim with the Court of Family Affairs arguing that she was entitled to receive one-quarter of the insurance benefits which were paid, following her father's death, to his wife, who was not her mother. Since the policy wording was ambiguous regarding the identity of the beneficiary in case of death, the court was required to address the interpretation of the definition of 'beneficiaries' in the policy.

Montreal Convention does not apply to internal flight in Spain
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • January 04 2017

The Petach Tikva Small Claims Court recently held that the Montreal Convention did not apply to an internal flight between two destinations in Spain, and that an Israeli court had jurisdiction to hear the claim. The court held that the convention does not apply in the case of an internal flight where the place of departure and destination are in the same country.

Does non-disclosure discharge insurers from liability?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • November 29 2016

In a recent case, the plaintiff did not disclose previous insurance claims when asked to do so during a pre-contract phone call. However, the court rejected an allegation of fraudulent intent against the plaintiff and did not award the remedy available to the insurer of reducing insurance benefits in proportion to the additional premium which would have been charged had the full facts been known, as the need for an additional premium was not proven.

Supreme Court decides on coverage afforded under D&O insurance policy
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • November 01 2016

In a recent case concerning coverage offered by a directors' and officers' liability insurance policy, the Supreme Court ruled that, in some instances, several insureds can be insured under one policy. The court found that it is clear in such a case that an insured who acts maliciously will lose his or her right to policy coverage. However, the case raised the question of what happens to the other innocent insureds.

Court declines motion to adjoin insurer to class action
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • August 30 2016

The Central District Court recently declined an insured's motion to file a third-party notice against its insurer in the framework of a class action. The case concerned a claim filed against several electrical appliance traders and importers. In its decision, the court highlighted that leave to file a third-party notice in a class action will be granted only if the defendant presents a proper basis for the liability of the third party.

Court rules insured must pay deductible for legal expenses even if claim against it fails
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • July 26 2016

In a recent Haifa Magistrates Court case the question arose as to whether an insured party must pay the deductible in accordance with an insurance policy if the claim filed against it is declined. In accordance with the policy, the court held that the insured was obliged to bear the deductible even if the amount paid by the insurer related solely to defence costs, and that this was the same whether the claim was accepted or declined.

Compensation for flight downgrade under Aviation Services Law
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • June 08 2016

The Tel Aviv Magistrate Court recently dismissed a claim based on the Aviation Services Law 2012 for compensation due to a downgrade in respect of a flight ticket purchased with flight points. The court addressed significant issues in its decision, including the right to compensation for passengers who did not pay for their flight ticket and whether full or partial compensation should be paid for a downgrade on only one flight segment.

Status of policy confirmation
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • May 10 2016

The Israeli non-life insurance market uses an additional document to an insurance policy called an insurance policy confirmation, which is issued at the request of the insured and is usually requested by third parties that enter into a commercial contract with the insured. The Supreme Court recently determined that an insurance policy confirmation should be examined as part of the policy that extends the coverage afforded by a separate document.

Limitation period in insurance claims
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • April 12 2016

A recent magistrate's court decision rejecting a claim filed after the limitation period prescribed by the Insurance Contract Law had expired raises an important issue relating to the liability of insurers to pay insurance in such circumstances. The plaintiff argued that the grounds for filing the claim were not based solely on the Insurance Contract Law, but also on breach of the Tort Law, contractual grounds and unjust enrichment.

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