• No Insurance Cover In The Case Of Fraudulent Misrepresentation as To Cause of Damage
  • July 25, 2013 | Author: Michael Rainer
  • Law Firm: GRP Rainer LLP - Bonn Office
  • If a cause of damage is fraudulently misrepresented then any insurance coverage is rendered inapplicable, even if it would be issued in the face of correct representation.

    GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and London www.grprainer.com/en explain: In its legally binding judgment of June 6, 2013 (Az.: 12 U 204/12), the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court (OLG) ruled that an insured party shall not benefit from any insurance coverage if it fraudulently misrepresents the relevant circumstances. According to the OLG, this is the case even if the actual circumstances would be covered by the insurance coverage.

    In the instant case, the insured party indicated with respect to his hunting liability insurance that he was walking his hunting dogs on a leash, which are supposed to have then knocked down the injured party with this leash as they were released to hunt a dear. He also indicated this in his claim for insurance cover. However, he then admitted at the official hearing before the regional court to having handed over the dogs without leashes to the injured party even before the hunt and that he was not himself present during the accident. The regional court likely allowed the claim because the failure to fulfil his duties, even if deliberate, did not negatively affect the interests in the insurance.

    The hunting liability insurance provider lodged an appeal against this, whereupon the OLG dismissed the claim. It clarified that the insurance company was exempted from the obligation to provide indemnification due to a fraudulent breach of the true reporting of the damage, which was also deliberate. This also applies in the case of an inconsequential failure to fulfil one’s duties, as a general risk to the interests of the insurer cannot be ruled out and on the other hand the insured party would be considerably at fault.

    In matters pertaining to insurance law, it is potentially helpful to have the assistance of an expert lawyer at an early stage, as the course must be properly set for the enforcement of legitimate claims as early as the insurer’s first inquiry following receipt of the claim for indemnity.