Court finds that insurer cannot repudiate a claim based on the insured’s failure to disclose a previous incident

The Court has recently decided against Outsurance in Jerrier v Outsurance Co Ltd 2015 (5) SA 433 (KZP), having concluded that an insurer cannot repudiate a claim just because the insured failed to disclose a previous incident.

The KwaZulu Natal High Court  examined the policy and the responsibilities imposed on the insured in terms of his policy.  One of the obligations imposed on the insured, was to notify the insurer of any incidents, even if the insured did not want to submit a claim, and to do so within 30 days.

The insured failed to do so, and the insurer wanted to repudiate a later claim because of it.

The Court found that –

“As long as the appellant understood that he would have no claim against the insurer for those incidents at the time or at any time in the future, there was no obligation to him to bring the matter to the attention of the insurer… “

” the obligation to report “incidents” is not set out with any particularity and is bound to lead to uncertainty as to what should and should not be reported, especially where the insured has no intention of lodging  a claim.”

http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAKZPHC/2015/34.pdf

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