If you read anything insurance-related last week, chances are it was about Zurich Insurance which announced a major shake-up of its business on Friday (see Huge shake-up at Zurich Insurance
). Well now the company is back in the news again: but in a positive light as one of its brokers enjoys a reprieve thanks to a Court of Appeal decision.
Reported on by Irish Legal News
, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against a decision from the Financial Service Ombudsman. It had dismissed a couple’s complaint that a serious illness insurance policy was revoked without their knowledge by an advisor.
According to the report, the appellant, Mr Derek O’Regan and his wife Sonia O’Regan had applied to Zurich Life for a number of mortgage-related insurance policies which they claimed always included serious illness cover. In January 2011, Mr O’Regan was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which prevented him from continuing to work as a plasterer and he then applied to Zurich for what he believed were the terms of his policy.
However, Mr O’Regan’s claim was refused on the basis the policy did not include serious illness cover. The appellants claimed this was the first time they were made aware that the policy did not contain the cover.
After an investigation from the Financial Services Ombudsman, the FSO made a decision in July 2012 that this complaint was not substantiated. This was then appealed and in a second investigation the FSO observed that the appellants admitted signing the documents without reading them but on the basis that they had trusted their advisor. However, they ultimately concluded that the evidence did not support a claim that serious illness cover was wrongfully removed without their consent.
Now the Court of Appeal has found that the FSO findings were fully entitled given the evidence – and therefore they have dismissed the appeal.
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