In May 2013, a prestigious golf/hotel complex caught fire after a cigarette butt was blown between the patio and the timber building. Having witnessed this incident on camera, the insurer wanted to make a claim for their outlay against the individual smoker, who had been standing in the designated area but had failed to dispose of the butt in the metal container provided.
We were able to show that accusing the individual of negligence would not benefit any party, and to start normal negotiations. However, upon examining the policy, it soon became apparent to our experts that the sums insured had inexplicably decreased from the previous year. Although the insurer had provided a renewal letter, there was no indication that the terms surrounding the main items should have been altered.
We were able to commence complaint procedures against the insurer’s agent, which led to a settlement mediation rather than an agreement based on the terms of the policy. The client received full reinstatement with an agreed indemnity period, all of which was paid up front and without any of the usual penalties.