The Jerusalem Magistrates Court recently accepted a claim filed against the Israeli Aviation Authority (IAA) by a passenger who had been injured while colliding with another person at Ben-Gurion International Airport, which the IAA operated. The court ruled that the presence of ground stewards in the terminal – even if considered to be a high standard – could have prevented the collision between the plaintiff and the other person.
The Central District Court recently dismissed a claim filed by a plaintiff against a gas supplier and its insurer and determined that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the claim event had been a gas explosion and the gas supplier's alleged negligence. The court accepted all of the arguments raised in the written summaries filed on behalf of the defendants and determined that, among other things, the plaintiff did not own the business where the alleged event had occurred so was not entitled to compensation.
The new controversial Civil Procedure Regulations recently entered into force. Insurers' claims departments must study and understand these new procedures, which may cause increased uncertainty during the first years of implementation. In the meantime, plaintiffs – including insurers in subrogation claims or claims for contribution – must prepare their claims more thoroughly with all supporting documents and opinions.
In August 2020 the Central District Court dismissed several requests for the certification of class actions which had been filed against different airlines on the basis that statutory damages under the Aviation Services Law cannot be claimed in class actions. In all of the cases, the airlines' main argument was that according to the Class Action Law, the court cannot award compensation where proof of damage is not required.
The controversy over whether electric bicycles are motor vehicles and are hence subject to the Law of Compensation to Victims of Road Accidents recently came to an end with a Supreme Court ruling. Since electric bicycles are involved in many accidents, the question of whether the law applies has become important because if electric bicycles were to be considered motor vehicles, there would be a duty of insurance.
A recent case dealt with the question of whether an insured is entitled to insurance benefits for the loss of their car by theft when it lacked the security measures required by the insurer. The Insurance Contract Law enables the award of partial benefits (Article 18), but in this case the insurer presented no evidence to support the application of this remedy. Thus, the court ordered the insurer to pay the full claim.
The Supreme Court recently answered a crucial question which could affect the reserves for bodily injury claims of all Israeli insurers and hence affect their balance sheets. According to the decision, the relevant annual capitalisation interest that should apply in respect of subrogation claims filed by the National Insurance Institute (NII) is 3% regardless of the fact that the NII paid allowances to the injured based on an annual capitalisation interest of 2%.
In November 2017 the Supreme Court approved a district court's decision that a foreign insurer which is not licensed under the Supervision Law is not entitled to file a subrogation claim in Israel. Notably, the Supreme Court is expected to readdress this decision in the near future. In view of its problematic outcome, it is hoped that the court will take this opportunity to reconsider its position and set a new and fairer precedent.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic led to the filing of insurance class actions which are typical of such crises? This article discusses class actions relating to motor, business and apartment insurance based on the allegation that the insureds paid monies (eg, premiums) for a period during which they did not enjoy any or full consideration for these payments.
In a recent and precedential Supreme Court judgment, the court dealt with the application of the 'innocent insured doctrine' and determined that the doctrine applies in Israel. Hence, where an insurer is entitled to be discharged of liability towards an insured, in some cases, the exemption may not apply vis-à-vis other co-insureds. In this case, the doctrine did not limit the discharge of the insurer.
The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 in Israel is affecting businesses and the movement of individuals, as well as significant reductions in commercial activity. This article examines how COVID-19 will affect insurance litigation and what can be expected in the long term.
The Tel Aviv District Court recently approved an appeal filed by Ukraine International Airlines and determined that the provision of alternative flight tickets resulting in a delay of less than eight hours following a delay in the first segment of a journey did not constitute the cancellation of a flight under the Aviation Services Law. The decision overturned a Small Claims Court decision and provides clarity on the meaning of a 'cancelled flight' under Israeli law.
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court clarified the boundary between maintaining the commissioner of insurance's directive requiring the full grounds and reasons for dismissing a claim to be included in a letter of declination and insurers' right to provide additional details in their statement of defence. The court accepted the insurer's position that it is acceptable to elaborate on declination arguments raised in a letter of declination.
The Haifa District Court and the Tel Aviv District Court recently issued conflicting decisions on the question of whether foreign insurers can file subrogation claims through their insured after paying the insured insurance benefits. In each case, the alleged tortfeasor requested that the court strike out the foreign insurer's claim, arguing that the latter had no right to file the claim in Israel as it was a non-admitted insurer.
In most cases, flights are operated by aircraft that arrive at an airport from a previous flight. As such, flights are sometimes delayed or cancelled due to a delay or cancellation of the previous flight. The Tel Aviv District Court recently denied a motion for leave to appeal filed by a passenger whose claim regarding the cancellation of his flight due to lightning damage to the aircraft which had occurred during the previous flight was denied by the Tel Aviv Small Claims Court.
Employees in Israel are automatically insured for work accidents by the National Insurance Institute (NII). Until recently, if an insured filed a claim against a third party and the claim was settled, such a settlement was perceived as an admission of liability with regard to the NII's subrogation. A recent Tel Aviv District Court judgment has changed this perception.
The Supreme Court recently declined an appeal filed by an insured and several companies controlled by him against the insurers Allianz Versicherungs, Menorah Mivtachim Insurance Company and HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherungs. The insurers had argued and proved in the district court that the claim was fraudulent. The Supreme Court stated in the appeal that the factual basis determined by the district court was sufficient to conclude that the insured event had not occurred.
The Small Claims Court recently rejected two passengers' claim that their flight should be considered a cancelled flight under the Aviation Services Law. The case examined whether an airline should pay compensation for a missed connecting flight when passengers book two flights from the same company with a short connection time.
The Rishon LeZion Magistrate's Court recently addressed the extent to which insurers are responsible to their policyholders and whether this responsibility is limited to matters included in a policy. The case concerned a claim filed by an insured against an insurer for damages caused as a direct result of a water leak. The court ruled that the insurer had acted negligently as its representative had misled the policyholder regarding the insurance coverage offered.
Under the Aviation Services Law (Compensation and Assistance for Flight Cancellation or Change of Conditions), passengers who are denied boarding are entitled to compensation. However, in two recent district court judgments concerning passengers that were denied boarding, the courts found that passengers must arrive at the boarding gate on time. As this duty had not been fulfilled in either case, the airlines were not obliged to pay compensation.