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Liability insurance: third-party claims

Insurance Law Monthly

Liability insurance: third-party claims

Under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 a third party with a claim against a person insured by a liability or similar policy is entitled to bring a direct action against the insurers without first having to establish the liability of the assured. The insurers can rely upon any defences that could have been pleaded by the assured, including limitation. By contrast, under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 a claim against the insurers could be brought only after the liability of the assured had been established.

If the assured was a struck-off company, it would have to be restored to the register of companies to be sued, and that gave rise to an initial procedural question of whether a company could be restored if the limitation period for the claim against it had expired. In Holmes v S & B Concrete [2020] EWHC 2277 (QB), Martin Spencer J considered this – fortunately now – largely historical question.

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