1. Court cases and arbitration

England & Wales: High Court provides useful guidance on the meaning of ‘Fundamental Dishonesty’

The High Court in London in London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (in Liquidation) v Haydn Sinfield1 provides guidance on the ‘Fundamental Dishonesty’ test. In this case the claimant suffered an accident as a volunteer worker at the 2012 Olympic Games and as a result had long-term disability. His claim included a claim for special damages for the costs of employing a gardener, which he claimed was only necessary as a result of his injuries. The claimant had a 2 acre garden and declared that a gardener had been employed for 2 to 4 hours of work per week, at a rate of £13 an hour, from the period commencing 9 September 2012. The claimant also sought special damages in relation to future losses for gardening. The gardening claim amounted to 42% of his total claim for special damages.

However, the defendant subsequently became aware that the claimant had, in fact, employed a gardener before he sustained the injury and there had been no increase in the hours worked on the garden after the accident. Further, the invoices for the gardener were found to have been created by the claimant without the gardener’s permission.

2. Market developments

Mexico: Probitas opens in Mexico

Probitas Syndicate 1492 has become the first Lloyd’s syndicate to join the Lloyd’s representative office in Mexico, demonstrating its commitment to servicing Latin America. The focus will initially be on providing facultative reinsurance for casualty and property business.

Lloyd’s regional head for Latin America and Lloyd’s representative in Mexico, Daniel Revilla, has been working hard to encourage managing agents to set up local offices in the region. Mr Revialla has explained that as Mexico is the largest source of premiums for Lloyd’s in Latin America and Probitas’ proximity to local stakeholders will likely secure them business that would not otherwise flow through the Lloyd’s market.

Europe: Windstorm Friederike: forecast to cost millions in economic losses

The estimated insured losses, resulting from windstorm Friederike which hit northern Europe earlier this month, are expected to top €90 million in the Netherlands and in Germany the losses could reach €500 million. The storm, which brought hurricane-strength winds of up to 90mph, is the most powerful storm to hit Germany in over a decade.

AIR Worldwide, the catastrophe risk modeller, has estimated the total insurance industry loss to be between €1.3 billion and €2.6 billion although their prediction does not include losses resulting from coastal or inland flooding, business interruption and additional living expenses for residential claims.