Insurance, Israel updates

Importance of providing insurance policies to insureds
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • June 19 2018

An insured recently filed a claim against its insurer with the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, which dismissed the claim based on policy exclusions. The insured then appealed to the district court, which found that the insured was entitled to insurance benefits as there was no proof that it had received a copy of the policy and been aware of the exclusions. The insurer requested leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal and ordered the insurer to bear the insured's expenses.

Withdrawal of class action due to lack of individual cause of action
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • April 24 2018

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.

Is insured obliged to pay deductible despite objection to settlement?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • April 03 2018

A recent Haifa Magistrate's Court decision concerned Hachshara Insurance Company's claim that its insured must pay the deductible despite objecting to the settlement agreement signed between the insurer and a third party. The insured had claimed that she was not required to pay the deductible as the insurer had reached the settlement without informing her and she had objected to it. The court rejected both claims and ordered the insured to pay the deductible plus legal fees.

Ministry of Finance eases requirements to obtain insurer's licence in Israel
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • February 20 2018

With the aim of increasing competition in the insurance market, the parliamentary finance committee recently approved a proposed Ministry of Finance regulation that will reduce the minimum capital required for a new insurance company, thus enabling new players to enter this confined market. The change in equity requirements is notable and increases the opportunity for new investors to consider establishing insurance activities in Israel.

Is groundwater flooding a foreseen event in a construction policy?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • January 23 2018

In a recent Supreme Court case, the insurer argued that it had been known that groundwater existed at a construction site before work commenced. Any damage caused as a result of groundwater was therefore foreseeable and not covered. The insured denied this and claimed that the insurance policy included no exclusion for groundwater damage. The court examined the contract's language to search for the contract's purpose based on the parties' intention before the insurance event.

Insured's disclosure duty versus insurer's obligation to conduct independent investigations
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Israel
  • December 19 2017

A recent Tel Aviv Economic District Court case examined the issue of an insured's disclosure duty versus an insurer's obligation to conduct independent investigations. The court determined that an insured has a broad disclosure obligation during the underwriting of a policy, and that an insurance contract is subject to duties of good faith and fairness. Therefore, an insurer is entitled to rely on the information provided to it by an insured and is not obliged to conduct additional independent investigations.

Court declines jewellers' block claim, accepting argument of fraud
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • 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.

Third-party liability or professional indemnity – which policy should apply?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • 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
  • 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.

Draft directive will ensure quick and fair settlement of long-term care insurance claims
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Does non-disclosure discharge insurers from liability?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Status of policy confirmation
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • 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
  • 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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