The Tel Aviv District Court recently acknowledged jurisdiction over a claim filed by an Israeli insurer against a foreign reinsurer that had refused to participate in a settlement agreed by all of the other reinsurers. The court noted that there was no dispute that the reinsurers' agreement included an exclusive jurisdiction clause referring to the Israeli courts and ordered a statement of claim to be served on the reinsurer.
The plaintiff in a recent case filed a claim and a motion to certify the claim as a class action against the insurer. The insurer paid the plaintiff only 85% of the actual damage and notified her that following the examination of the parties' versions and the damaged parts of the cars involved, it had deducted the plaintiff's contributory negligence at a rate of 15%. The insurer argued, among other things, that the plaintiff had no individual cause of action.
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.
Lawyers in Israel are not bound by law to purchase a professional indemnity policy, but most do. The question arises of whether certain behaviour amounts to negligence (which is covered by a professional indemnity policy) or whether it amounts to a breach of trust (which is not). The Tel Aviv District Court recently decided that a lawyer who favoured his own personal interest over his client's was not entitled to professional liability cover.
In a recent case involving the sinking of a vessel in the Sea of Galilee, the insurer of a marine policy was discharged of liability under the policy. However, the insurer was found liable in tort under Israeli law for damages caused to the insured due to negligent acts by the insurer in salvaging the vessel. The insurer was ordered to pay the plaintiff the full value of the vessel, plus loss of profits and expenses.
The Insurance Contract Law imposes a duty on insurers to highlight exclusions in insurance policies. Failure to act as required may abolish the exclusion. Questions of how an exclusion should be highlighted and whether it was in force were the focus of a recent Nazareth court judgment. The case concerned a council's failure to insure a 10-year-old pupil under a personal accident policy.
The acknowledgement by an insurer that the insured has a right to receive insurance benefits may extend the period of limitation. In a recent case before the Haifa Magistrates Court, the court ruled that the insurer's acts constituted an admission of the plaintiff's right to the claim. The limitation period was therefore revised to begin on the date on which the admission was made, instead of the date of the accident.
The 1975 Road Accident Victims Law imposes a duty on the driver of a motor vehicle to compensate the victim for bodily injury sustained as a result of a road accident, regardless as to who was at fault for causing the accident. The law further provides for full and total liability even if no blame can be attributed to the driver. Hence, victims of road accidents are ensured compensation payment.
In 2005 restaurant owner Ehad Aham Food and Investments Ltd filed a claim against Hadar Insurance Company regarding a business insurance policy. The Tel Aviv District Court recently handed down its judgment, ordering the insurer to compensate the plaintiff for extensive loss of profits due to its late payment of undisputed insurance benefits that resulted in the plaintiff's inability to reinstate the business.
In most cases that deal with the liability of attorneys, the courts view the attorneys (who are normally insured) as having deep pockets and impose liability thereon. However, in a recent judgment the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the attorneys. It stated that an attorney will not be liable to his or her client in every case, as he or she is not a detective and should not be expected to uncover fraud.