Minister Finansów v Aspiro SA formerly BRE Ubezpieczenia sp. z o.o., (Case c-50/15)

The case was concerned with Aspiro, a Polish company, which provided services for the settlement of insurance claims. Article 135 (1) (a) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax, provides that insurance transactions, as well as certain services provided by insurance brokers and agents, are exempt from VAT.

The key question under consideration in the case was whether, Aspiro, as service provider, could be seen as having acted as an insurance broker or agent such that it could be exempt from VAT. The ECJ held that such a provider could only be deemed to be acting as a broker or agent to the extent its activities included finding potential customers and introducing them to the insurer in question. In this instance, it was held that Aspiro had not performed such a function, and that its activities were therefore not subject to the VAT exemption.

The full text of the judgment can be found here.  

Versloot Dredging BV and another (Appellants) v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others (Respondents) [2016] UKSC 45

The recent decision in Versloot Dredging BV and another (Appellants) v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others (Respondents) [2016] UKSC 45, handed down on 20 July 2016, has clarified the law for both insurers and insureds in relation to “fraudulent devices” or “collateral lies”.

The case confirms that:

  • a lie told by an insured when making a claim which has no relevance to the insured’s right to recover (i.e. a fraudulent device), does not give an insurer a right to repudiate a claim; and
  • also provides further detail on the meaning of “fraudulent device” for the purposes of the Insurance Act 2015.

A link to the Eversheds briefing note on the case can be found here.