At 2TG, we have a pre-eminent reputation in the highly specialist niche market of life, critical illness and income replacement (aka permanent health) insurance. Several members of the group are recognised in the directories for their work in this area.
We act for both claimants and defendants across the full range of life and health insurance matters.
On the life/critical illness side we deal with faked deaths, suicides, complex medical conditions, disputes between insolvent policyholders and their trustees in bankruptcy, policies written under trust, forfeiture following death caused by the insured’s criminal act and failure to disclose dangerous lifestyles such as membership of crime rings. We are regularly instructed to attend inquests, in particular where the death has taken place in suspicious or unusual circumstances (including alleged political assassinations, gang murders, suicides and deaths on the railway).
In relation to permanent health we advise on and litigate complex issues such as fraud, non-disclosure, limitation and the construction of group policies and special conditions such as “cherished occupation” clauses. We have particular expertise in the difficult evidential and tactical issues raised by conditions which are dependent on self-reporting for diagnosis (such as depression and chronic fatigue syndrome).
Life and health is in large part taken out by consumers. We are frequently instructed to advise on the complex legislative and regulatory framework applying to consumer insurance (the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, ICOBS, the Financial Ombudsman Service and industry guidance from bodies such as the ABI). The regulatory obligation to treat customers fairly is at the forefront of our minds when advising and acting. More generally we try to keep in mind the human and reputational sensitivities involved in handling these sorts of claims.
Sometimes however the regulatory mechanisms fail to function as they should. It may be necessary to consider judicial review of the FOS or other bodies. At 2TG we litigated what is so far the only judicial review of the Financial Ombudsman by an insurer in the life/health field. The case resulted in an important correction of FOS’s previous approach to the financial cap in the context of directives.