Ch. Liège, 4 March 2015: Verification of the insured’s declarations
A woman purchased a new vehicle and contacted her broker to obtain a better insurance offer than her current policy. Therefore, through her intermediary, she took out an insurance policy, but the policy did not provide driver cover. The insured was injured in a car accident and asked her insurer to cover the loss. However, the insurer refused because the “driver protection” cover had not been taken out. The insured then sued the broker, requesting both an insurance indemnity and the appointment of a medical expert. The broker argued that the insured was aware of the clear and precise contractual provisions she had signed, which did not include the cover at issue and, therefore, she knew at the time she took out the new policy that it did not include the cover at issue.
The court held that, although the insured must ensure that all covers are checked in the contract, the broker’s breach of duty, consisting of not having informed her that she no longer had driver cover, was much more serious. The broker was therefore ordered to compensate a significant portion of the claim.
This decision is interesting because it stresses the importance for a broker to inquire about the needs of the insured when replacing a policy. In fact, according to the judges, the non-renewal of one of the previous covers must be highlighted by the broker, even if the overall structure of the policy is more advantageous.