Dispute Resolution

27th June 2013
Dispute Resolution image

Dispute Resolution

Introduction

It has long been established in English law that an insured cannot successfully claim from an insurer where the insured’s claim has been fabricated or dishonestly exaggerated.  This is known as the Fraudulent Claims Rule (“the FCR”).  Obviously the FCR was designed to deter fraud.  However on the 20th July 2017 the Supreme Court, the highest court in the United Kingdom, considered a more recent extension of the FCR to “collateral lies” which are lies told by the insured to embellish the claim but which are irrelevant because the claim is justified whether the statement is true or not.

An example of a “collateral lie” being the insured producing a false receipt for a stolen computer worth £1,000 when the computer has been stolen and is actually worth £1,000.

The Supreme Court held, by 4 judges to 1, in Versloot Dredging BV and Another v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and Others that the FCR does not apply to “collateral lies” which are immaterial to the insured’s right to recover.


The Versloot Case

The Versloot Case

The insured’s boat had been damaged beyond repair by a peril of the seas, namely very inclement weather.  The insured presented a claim to its insurers for a sum in excess of €3 million claiming that the crew had heard the bilge alarm but could not investigate because the vessel was rolling in heavy waters.  This was a lie but it was irrelevant to the claim since it was found that a peril of the seas had caused the loss.  Initially the courts held that the lie was a “fraudulent device” which did mean that the insurers did not have to pay out under the policy.

The Supreme Court however held that the FCR did not apply to “collateral lies” as the lie was immaterial and irrelevant to the honest claim.  The loss was caused by the bad weather and as such the lie was irrelevant.


Conclusions

Daven Naghen head of our Dispute Resolution Team has commented on the case as follows:-

“This ruling does distinguish between on the one hand fraudulent claims which are fabricated or dishonestly exaggerated, and valid claims supported by irrelevant lies or embellished evidence.  In the latter these false statements stand to gain nothing more for the insured beyond what it is legally due.  I do think that this is a victory for common sense.  However I would continue to encourage persons to be entirely frank and honest with insurers in such circumstances, since in particular if the lie is deemed material to the claim then there is a very strong chance that the claim will be rightly rejected by the insurer.  In particular inflating the value of an otherwise genuine claim still remains fraud and is likely to lead to a rejection of the claim.”

If you require advice on an insurance claim then please contact Daven on 01775 722261 or email daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or Gemma Mayer on 01775 722261 or email gemma.mayer@maplessolicitors.com or arrange an appointment or visit our offices at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1DH.


Property Protection Trusts image

Property Protection Trusts

Property Protection Trusts and Protecting your Property from Care Home Fees

Many people are concerned that as they get older, they may need to move into a care home and the cost of such care can be very expensive. Many people are therefore looking for ways to protect their assets from care home fees.

In recent years “Property Protection Trusts” have been promoted as being the failsafe, guaranteed way of protecting your property from care home fees. Many companies promoting such trusts are unregulated and their products such as Property Protection Trusts are being promoted and sold by sometimes nothing more than a very persuasive salesperson.

It is likely that your home is your largest asset and you should be very cautious before making any decisions with regard to your largest asset and the roof over your head. Indeed a Property Protection Trust may not even protect your home from being sold to pay for care fees or could cause tax implications and therefore it is very important that you take advice from one of our lawyers before making any decisions with regard to such Property Protection Trusts.

These Trusts can be brought to people’s attention either from cold calling, arranging home visits and sometimes even from kiosks or stalls in public areas. The people “selling” Property Protection Trusts to you can be very persuasive and may not be providing you with correct information or all of the information you should have before making a decision regarding your property. Their fees are often excessive.

In some cases, these companies even offer Lasting Powers of Attorney at what they claim to be a reduced rate. People should take caution as these “cheap” Lasting Powers of Attorney often result in being more expensive than our own charges and the companies involved often do not provide the correct advice or the necessary advice for you.

If you have been contacted by someone discussing Property Protection Trusts and would like to discuss this further with one of the lawyers in the Wills and Probate Department of this firm or you have already created a Property Protection Trust but would like to take further advice then please contact one of our lawyers in the Wills and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com
Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com
Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

Or telephone the office 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Testimonials

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!