Despite a slowing of economic growth, figures from the Czech Insurance Association show that insurance premiums rose by 12.7% to CKr62.8bn. Nonlife business grew by 7.2% though competition squeezed profitability, especially in motor. Motor third-party..
With an estimated 100,000 nannies working in the UK, Lloyd’s insurer SVB Holdings has produced what is believed to be the first insurance package covering public liability, personal possessions and valuables and legal expenses.
Following the adverse ruling of the House of Lords earlier this year, in respect of guaranteed annuity policies (GARs) requiring the honouring of £1.5bn liabilities to policyholders, and the collapse of subsequent talks with Prudential,..
With steady upward movement since the spring, there have been significant rate rises during the final quarter of the year, somewhere between 20% and 50%. Matthew Day, aerospace business development director at Willis, notes average..
Lloyd’s pre-1993 reinsurance and runoff vehicle Equitas is expected to make a further increase in reserves for asbestos claims at the end of the year.
The number of new claims emerging – primarily from the US..
Liability despite nonpayment of premium
Where a policy of insurance was in force on the date of an accident, a third party would have a claim against an insurance company, even where the policy was subsequently..
An appeal has been lodged in the Australian supreme court by AMP/GIO General Insurance, insurer of Cessnock City Council at the time of a cycle accident in 1993.
The supreme court had already reduced an A$2.8mn..
Insurance law firm of the year has been named as London, Kent and Birmingham-based Davies Lavery
, in the new category of Insurance Industry Awards 2000.
Tim Brentnall has been appointed senior partner at insurance law firm..
An insurance industry group, the Insurance Association of China, has been set up to improve self-regulation prior to China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation. With an initial membership of 36, including major domestic insurance..
The European Commission has recommended all member states take steps to ensure the independence of company auditors, and improve monitoring of external accountants.
The recommendation, important though not legally binding, also calls for greater financial information..
The chambers of Roger Henderson QC and industry consultancy and management service body Symonds Group have come together to form a new form of mediation service. Resolex provides a mediation framework throughout a project, with..
Collective conditional fee arrangements, allowing insurers, trade unions and commercial organisations to enter a single agreement with solicitors, are now in force in the UK. In effect, this is an expansion of the ‘no win,..
A note from Reynolds Porter Chamberlain highlights recent court decisions, weakening the effect of the Latent Damage Act 1986. Under that act, negligence claims are automatically barred after 15 years, unless facts are shown to..
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has introduced a Code of Practice on the handling of any general insurance claim made by a private individual, whether policyholder or a third party. It will come into..
The Ukrainian government plans to introduce mandatory state insurance of industrial accidents early in 2001 – a quid pro quo
of a reduction in taxes. The insurance tariff is expected to be set at 0.32%..
A detailed survey of developments in the German market, especially in areas of distribution, is available from Informa Professional. It is entitled German Insurance Industry: Facing the Millennium
A useful review, containing much detail, appears in..
Of recent years, the rapidly-growing insurance market in Poland has seen a particular development in the liability insurance market, both compulsory and elective.
From two compulsory insurances in the early 1990s – third-party motor liability and..
Vietnam’s National Assembly is to approve the Law on Insurance Business, thus creating a framework for the development of the sector covering a range of insurance activities, including life insurance, assets and civil liabilities. It..
A review of the Employees’ Compensation System carried out by the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers found a considerable increase in compensation payments over the past 10 years.
This is due both to increases in common..
The Japanese Nursing Association is arranging liability cover for its 500,000 members as from 2001. This is in response to an increase in the naming of nurses (as well as hospitals) in malpractice actions. A..
A media furore of sad small-claims winners, caught in the pre-April 2000 provisions of the Access to Justice Act, has forced Claims Direct into setting aside £5mn to pacify disgruntled clients and led to a..
At an estimated cost of £5.5bn, changes in state earnings-related pensions will be delayed so as to exempt all those who reach pensionable age by 5 October 2002.
The phasing-out of full transfer to surviving partner..
National Westminster Bank has been fined a total of £750,000 by the Personal Investment Authority and the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation for breaches of rules. It has also been ordered to pay compensation of £2.35mn..
Royal Scottish Assurance has been fined more than £2mn by the Personal Investment Authority (PIA) in relation to serious deficiencies in its mortgage endowment policies affecting some 30,000 customers. Royal Scottish has set aside £50mn..
The latest estimate of pension misselling costs and compensation now stands at £13.5bn, following revised guidance from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on adjustments for pension transfers and resolution of phase 2 (younger customers) cases...
A failure to obtain appropriate insurance – or any insurance at all – may mean UK e-businesses are exposing themselves to unnecessary risk. E-commerce has introduced a number of new risks that may not be..
Law firm Olswang warns that employers should be wary of turning down requests for flexitime working hours. They refer to a tribunal decision favouring primary school head Rebekah Marshall, who was refused flexitime work when..
Minister for the environment Michael Meacher, speaking at a conference organised by law firm Vizards, Staples & Bannisters, indicated that the government intends to raise fines for employers who fail to take out statutory liability..
Expedited process makes it likely that miners, due to receive £100mn governmental compensation for damage to their health when working in a nationalised industry, will receive their money before year-end. So stated energy minister Helen..
Danish-owned, British-flagged Sea Pioneer
has been detained for inspection at a Ukrainian port. It seems she may have unknowingly brought in a large consignment of radioactive zirconium. Ukraine itself is a large producer, so it..
At the time of writing, the repair of the British nuclear-powered submarine HMS Tireless
continues in Gibraltar. This is despite continued protests and official Maltese government concern, EC complaint on the inadequacy of information supplied..
Compensation payments to sick US nuclear workers who were employed by private companies have been authorised by president Bill Clinton, implementing a Congress decision.
Thousands of workers have suffered various sicknesses after being – often unknowingly..
Severe damage (with no casualties) to an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 757 on landing at Cairo airport has been blamed by airline officials on an unidentified object on the runway. Cairo airport officials deny this, claiming..
Réunion Aérienne, insurer of Air France, has launched legal proceedings against Continental Airlines over its alleged role in the Concorde disaster.
Although aviation crash investigators have implicated Concorde, the company responds that it has no confirmation..
The public accounts committee of the House of Commons has challenged the finding of ‘gross negligence’ against the pilots of the RAF helicopter that crashed in the Mull of Kintyre in 1994, killing all 29..
The widow of Motorola engineer Philip Thomas, who was on a business trip when he died, has filed a wrongful death suit in Los Angeles against Singapore Airlines, alleging pilot error. She seeks unspecified compensation..
As a curtain raiser to the report of the House of Lords Science & Technology Committee, the media fell into a moral panic about ‘economy flight syndrome’, fuelled by the sad death of 28-year-old Emma..
In one of the worst US oil spills in the last five years, Liberian-owned Westchester ran aground and spilled half a million gallons of oil into the Mississippi River. P&I insurance is carried by Norwegian..
Not only residual pollution and unsettled compensation claims remain from the sinking of the Erika
of the French coast a year ago. The draft report of the French Marine Accident Investigation Bureau firmly names corrosion..
Road Accidents Great Britain, 1999 – The Casualty Report
, published by the UK Department of the Environment, Transport & the Regions (DETR) shows an overall continued reduction in road casualties, with the UK having a..
Ten companies and the Japanese government are to pay more than US$2mn to compensate local residents whose health has been damaged by air pollution. The suit was filed by 145 residents of Nagoya in 1989,..
From March 2001 Denmark will start a phaseout and ban on further use of lead above a concentration of 50 parts per million in such products as plastics, building materials, ceramics and crystal glassware.
The New Hampshire state supreme court has, for the first time, set a separate damage award for ‘loss of enjoyment of life’.
This occurred in Bennett v Lembo,
arising from the rear-ending of the Bennetts’ car..
General Motors is appealing the US$1.2bn award to six people badly burned in a Chevrolet Malibu. It claims the Los Angeles superior court judge refused to let jurors hear that the crash was caused by..
A number of claims against DuPont de Nemours, relating to Benlate 50 DF fungicide and apparently settled, have received judicial permission for reopening. Although DuPont has paid out more than US$1bn in all in settlements..
See Johns-Manville Trust, Asbestos update.
Award of US$750,000 to former smoker,
overturned on appeal, now reinstated by Florida supreme court. The court held that the claim in Carter v Brown & Williamson
had not been filed..
Another woman dies from washing her husband’s asbestos-impregnated work clothes. A Gloucestershire coroner has ruled this the cause of death of Sylvia Foster. Aged 88, the question of compensation is unlikely to arise, but this..
In its second exposure of the year (risk from residual asbestos in the talc component of wax crayons was highlighted in May) the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
claims that mechanics are being put at risk from asbestos..
Waterside workers in Australia have brought in their own ban on the handling of asbestos in any Australian port. Criticising the lag behind Europe and the recommendation of the National Occupational Health & Safety Commission..
One of 10 unconsolidated lawsuits pending before US district judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn is brought by the trustees of the Johns-Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, seeking damages from the tobacco industry of more than..
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, led by radiation oncologist Jeff Michalski, say radioactive ‘seeds’ used to treat prostate cancer in men pose no radiation risk to their wives or..
Wiltshire police are engaged in an extensive investigation into chemical warfare tests carried out on some 30,000 British servicemen at Porton Down from the early 1950s onwards. More information is contained in the book Gassed
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) is likely to end attempts at confidentiality of its deliberations, after repeated leaks. Former secrecy had been driven by fears of effects on pharmaceutical industry shares but, after..
Following advice from the UK Department of Health (DoH) that women have soya-oil-filled Trilucent breast implants removed – a precautionary measure as the DoH had received many reports of ‘adverse incidents’ – a £26mn settlement..
Lawyers who filed suit in Madison County, Illinois, alleging that Goodyear Tire & Rubber and its unit Kelly-Springfield Tire, manufactured defective tyres, are seeking class action status. Alleging there are millions of defective tyres in..
At the time of writing, it is reported that Ford and Firestone are, together, to inform the NHTSA that problems related to adhesives between the steel belts of tyres and faulty design of the interspatial..
Following NHTSA investigations, Ford is recalling 850,000 of the 1995–7 models of the Explorer and 30,000 1997 model Mountaineers, to deal with faulty suspension. A detailed report in the New York Times
of 7 December..
Lawyers fear bankruptcy – not for themselves, but Firestone. With approaching 200 suits filed in federal courts in Indianapolis and claims of US$50bn in play, they are seeking to have Japanese parent company Bridgestone Corp..
A leaked EU report detailed in New Scientist
of 2 December 2000 suggests up to 5,000 tonnes of meat imported annually from Canada to Europe could be tainted with banned drugs (including growth hormones) and..
Welcomed by the (vindicated) Consumers’ Association, and others, for its precautionary approach, the report from the inquiry led by Sir William Stewart, former chief scientific adviser to the government, into potential risks from mobile phones..
Complaints against the UK’s police rose by 3% in the past 12 months, of which 9% were substantiated on investigation. Home Office figures show that more than half related to failure in duty, 27% oppressive..
Finance workers’ trade union Unifi is to take the Bank of England to tribunal for failure to observe legal proceedings in the dismissal of several members of staff. It had refused to accept ‘inferior’ contracts..
Immediate payments are to be made to the relatives of 155 people who died in November in the funicular fire at Kaprun in Austria, by train operating company Gletscherbahnen Kaprun. Insured for AS320mn, the first..
Australian law firm Slater & Gordon is gathering claimants, seeking to establish a class action against at least four airlines for their failure to warn and advise passengers on the risks of developing blood clots..