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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Hi there, We are a small company trading for 54 years and have

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Hi there, We are a small company trading for 54 years and have had to make our first ever insurance claim. This was because a part that we supplied into the market was suspect, due to the part been brittle and therefore failing. We did a recall as best we could but some of these parts got out into the general public. We have had 4 claims against us from our customers, who in turn have had claims from their customers. The parts we supplied are from China and when we approached our supplier, they passed the buck on etc and so we had no chance of any renumeration from them. We have therefore automatically gone through our insurance company Towergate. But they are now saying that each claim we have to pay our £1000 excess on.... surely this cannot be the case, as the claims are for exactly the same failure, just off different customers.... Look forward to your reply.... thank... Rich

What exactly does the policy say about aggregated claims?

How much is each claim?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Sir... I will check your question regarding aggregated claims... the claims vary between £750 and £2600






Thanks. It will refer to single, total and aggregated claims
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello Law,


Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you but it's only today that we have heard back off the insurance company about these claims going back months !!!


I haven't mentioned to them regarding aggregated claims as I was awating their feedback.


They have emailed us today with the following:


Section D – Liability Section Definitions includes 7) Excess which states;

Excess shall mean the total amount payable by the Insured or any other person entitled to indemnity in respect of any Damage to Property arising out of any one occurrence or series of occurrences consequent upon or attributable to one source or original cause before the Underwriters shall be liable to make any payment



Insurers referred the matter to their Underwriters and have received confirmation that the intention of the wording is to apply one excess to each occurrence and or source which is deemed to be each cable failure. Therefore, I write to confirm that you will be required to pay the first £1,000.00 to each and every loss relating to any damage to property.



Surely Law they are contradicting themselves as the policy states "series of occurences (that I've highlighted in bold) ...


It's so frustrating and we look forward to your advice on moving forward.

Shall I ask them if their policy has this "aggregated" wording ?


Thanks Law



Rich Catton




Of course, their underwriters will say that. If that was
what they intended, then they need to speak to whoever drafted the document
because whilst that may be what they wanted, that is not what they got. That is
not what the document says.

I agree with you completely.

They don't necessarily have to use the word aggregated.

My advice remains the same

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your reply Law, but can you please elaborate on what your advice is ? Are we justified in rejecting their claim and possibly indicate to them of taking this further legally ? Is there a set procedure to let them know that we wish to dispute this very suspect claim, based on their policy wording ? Fusion are a very big outfit and we are just a small little company who have never in our history had to make a claim and this is the result.

Law, we look forward to your advice and thanks






You cannot refer to the Ombudsman becuse they dont deal with commercial disputes.

Tell them that you dont agree with their stance and that if the insist on charging the excess you will have no alterntive but to refer the matter to court for determination of whether the charge is per claim or per series of the same incident.

Sorry to nag, but please don't forget to positively rate

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello Law.... this was their response earlier.....


Following our telephone conversation this morning I can confirm that in my opinion Insurers have interpreted the policy correctly in applying a £1,000 Excess to each individual incident when a products liability claim is notified. This is certainly the intention of all insurers when an excess is applied to Products Liability Cover. I have referred this matter to one of my Directors for his opinion and he is going to check the exact wording to see if there is any ambiguity. I will let you know his opinion, and if we feel there is any doubt will take this up with Insurers



I'm assuming there's nothing we can do ?



Kind regards



Rich Catton

this is simply their opinion, which is bound to be in their favour. Expect the
directors to be of the same opinion.

suggestion would be to either pay up and sue them for the money or make an
application to court. Prior to that, to have the massive determined by the

of you needs to agree to be bound by the court's decision.

you might want to try and experienced mediator, but once again, agree to be
bound by that decision

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello Law,


This is still dragging on and last Friday our broker suggested doing the following: Law I need to know about your thoughts on the text in bold and italic writing below please.




I have been unable to contact the regional underwriting manager at Fusion, the loss adjuster Chris Friel or yourselves this afternoon. Fusion did call back to say they will get back to us early next week..


What i was going to suggest was that you make payment to your customers but ensure you mark payment as without prejudice. You may wish to quickly check with your solicitor as to whether this would prejudice your position if you end up having to take legal action.


In my opinion this would stop your customers from bothering you. If Insurers do not agree to alter their position on excess this is going to take a fairly long time to resolve and in the meantime you may find yourselves in legal disputes with your customers over fairly small amounts. Hopefully Insurers will see sense and providing that sufficient evidence of valid claims is provided they can either pay claimants or re-imburse yourselves.


Look forward to your comments ... thanks Law

No harm in doing that but say to customers that you are not accepting liability and that you offer this money as a goodwill gesture and are continuing to pursue your insurers for the loss.

Of course, if you don't have success with insurers you have parted with the money.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Law,



Thanks for your valued help....



Rich Catton



Glad to assist