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Insurance claims ‘most likely’ to succeed in UK courts

Insurance claims are amongst the “most likely” to succeed in UK courts, according to the latest data from law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. 

It warned that the insurance industry will be under scrutiny for the way it responds to the “complexities” of the current pandemic, however.

According to an analysis of over 1,000 cases, decisions made in insurance cases are also more likely to go to appeal than those in other industry sectors. 

The analysis also revealed that 56% of cases brought by insurance policyholders succeed at the first instance, however. 

The research was done in partnership with Solomonic, a litigation analytics company who collated the data, to understand litigation trends emerging from cases heard in the commercial and chancery courts.

Data found that 25% of decisions made in insurance cases are taken to appeal, with only healthcare (31%), commodities and mining (26%), and utilities (43%) sectors holding a higher appeal figure. 

It found that a significant proportion of insurance cases also relate to levels of insurance coverage, with insurance sector professional indemnity cases also high in number.

Alexander Oddy, a partner in Herbert Smith Freehills’ insurance disputes practice, said: “The insurance market has been hardening for the last two years and policy claims can be expected to be subjected to greater scrutiny by insurers with less inclination to give the benefit of the doubt to difficult claims.  

Covid-19 brings an additional layer of focus to claims as policyholders facing business challenges seek to press recoveries where they properly can.”

He added: “Every case has its own unique features and these together with policy wording and evidence will influence what happens in practice. However, the opportunity for corporate policyholders to understand litigant behaviour on the basis of trend analysis cannot be underestimated. 

“With policy claims disputes likely to be on the increase, policyholders should seek to leverage every possibility tool to achieve a successful outcome.”

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