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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a insurance on a let property via Towergate Underwriting.

Customer Question

I have a insurance on a let property via Towergate Underwriting. The papers all detail Towergate and the payment was to them. I have made a claim on the policy, that is in dispute and I have lodge proceedings in small claims for the cost of the work I have had done. This claim is against tower gate and RSA. Towergate claim to be acting under an agency (Delegated Unterwriters Authority) and as such are no involved. They have sent a WP letter demanding removal at threat of Application for Summary Judgement and costs. I am concerned over the costs but not sure if they are just trying it on and I if I am ok pursuing them and calling them on the Summary Judgement?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Has it been allocated to track yet please?

JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

The matter has not been allocated. I have filled in Directions and, as lodged, asked for Small Claims. Both other parties are trying to get it allocated to Fast track

Alex Watts : What is the value of the claim?
JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

The claim is valued at £6,300.

JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

I have the feeling that both parties are trying to use the threat of summary judgement and or fast track as a threat of costs.

Alex Watts : Summarily judgment is only where a case has no claim whatsoever.
Alex Watts : If there is some truth and evidence then they would fail and you could claim costs.
Alex Watts : In any event they would only be entitled to fixed costs of £175 - nothing more.
Alex Watts : This is as per the court rules.
Alex Watts : So summary judgment is £175 on a claim like this.
Alex Watts : So do not be worried about what they say. They are unlikely to apply for summary judgment.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

I think they are trying to claim that, as the underwriter they have no position, therefore no claim. As the paperwork is Towergate headed (insurance schedule and policy document) I think they may have a case to answer and that any Summary judgement would fail. Is they did lodge a summary judgement are there any circumstances where they could claim ruinous costs? other than if i simply made the whole thing up to annoy them and the court? Can I quote a CPR rule back to them that demonstrates I am aware of the £175 cap?

JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

Also, should I be worried by their application to seek "fast track" rather than small claims?

Alex Watts : As for the fees it's Part 45 in the fixed costs table.
Alex Watts : As for fast track if it is a straight forward claim and below £10,000 it would be a small claim
Alex Watts : Part 26 states
Alex Watts : Scope of each track26.6(1) The small claims track is the normal track for–(a) any claim for personal injuries where –(i) the value of the claim is not more than £10,000; and(ii) the value of any claim for damages for personal injuries is not more than £1,000;(b) any claim which includes a claim by a tenant of residential premises against a landlord where –(i) the tenant is seeking an order requiring the landlord to carry out repairs or other work to the premises (whether or not the tenant is also seeking some other remedy);(ii) the cost of the repairs or other work to the premises is estimated to be not more than £1,000; and(iii) the value of any other claim for damages is not more than £1,000.(Rule 2.3 defines ‘claim for personal injuries’ as proceedings in which there is a claim for damages in respect of personal injuries to the claimant or any other person or in respect of a person’s death)
Alex Watts : Please see
Alex Watts :
Alex Watts : Does this help?
JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

Thank you, just to check, below are the WP letters I have, are you confident that they are bluffing?

JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :


1StationCottages Weibury

NorthYorkshire DL62SA

Bypostandemailto[email protected]


Dear Mr Park,

Ourref: TF

Date: 9 January 2014

MrAndrewParkv(1)RoyalandSunAllianceInsurancePieand(2)Towergate Insurance


We write in relation to the above claim. We previously advised you to contact the First Defendant because Towergate Insurance ('Towergate') is not your insurer and, as the decision with regards to your claim lies with them, it was appropriate that they should respond to it

As you have commenced proceedings, however, we would now like to set out our position more clearly. As stated above, Towergate is not an insurer. Towergate Underwriting Group Limited issued your policy as agent on behalf of a consortium of insurers, the lead of which was the First Defendant. This was disclosed to you in your policy documentation. Your allegation that Towergate has breached its contract with you is without basis as Towergate is not a party to your contract of insurance. The court should have served on you a copy of our defence to this effect.

We reject any assertion that Towergate has been hostile in relation to its dealings with you and ask that you immediately take steps to remove Towergate from these proceedings. Should you do so not later than Wednesday 15 January 2014, we will not seek to recover any costs from you.

If, notwithstanding the above, you elect to continue your misconceived claim against Towergate we shall vigorously defend it. We have already requested that the claim be allocated to the Fast Track due to its complexity and reserve the right to apply for summary judgment on the basis that there is no real prospect of the claim against Towergate succeeding. You should be aware that we shall, at the end of any hearing, whether of the full matter or of an application for summary judgment, seek recovery of all of our costs due to your unreasonable behaviour in pursuing a claim without merit. Towergate's rights in that respect are reserved.

For the avoidance of doubt, if you do not accept this offer and continue with your claim, we will refer to this letter in support of any such recovery of costs.

We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice in relation to the contents of this letter, and with the potential cost consequences for you should you continue with your claim notwithstanding the information set out above and in Towergate's defence. If you are unable

Towergate Insurance

Registered Office: Tovvergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3Ehl




to afford a solicitor, you should be able to obtain free legal advice from the local Citizen's

Advice Bureau, Yours sincerely,

LegalDepartment TowergateGroup

JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

Mr Andrew Park

1 Station Cottages

Wei bury

North Yorkshire


Our ref:


By email only to [email protected]


Dear Mr Park,


22 January 2014

Mr Andrew Park v (1) Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Pie and (2) Towergate


Claim Number: 3QZ62209

We write in response to your various email communications over 13 to 22 January 2014.

Timing of the filing of the defence

On the subject of our defence, we would like to confirm that we were not tardy in filing it. We

promptly filed an Acknowledgment of Service which meant the date our defence was filed, 27

December 2013, was within the time permitted by the Civil Procedure Rules.

Legal privilege

In response to our letter of 9 January 2014 you commented that you failed to see the reason

why we had relied upon Legal Privilege. You should note that we were not relying on Legal

Privilege. Our offer was made without prejudice because it represented a genuine attempt to

settle the dispute. We agreed that we would not pursue you for recovery of our costs should

you cease the action against the Second Defendant by the deadline set. essentially a 'drop

hands' offer. Without prejudice privilege can only be waived jointly by both parties and we. for

the avoidance of doubt, do not agree to it being waived. We maintain that our without

prejudice correspondence of 9 January 2014 and this correspondence and any other

references to either of them are not admissible in court, except as to the issues of costs.

Towergate is not an insurance company

Towergate Insurance Limited ('Towergate') is not authorised as an insurance company. In

fact Towergate is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority ('FCA') at all and

Towergate Underwriting Group Limited trading as Towergate Underwriting Let Property

('TULP'} is only authorised by the FCA as an intermediary. Neither Towergate nor TULP can,

therefore, be a party to and carry out contracts of insurance.

Alleged contract with Towergate

Notwithstanding Towergate's lack of insurer status, in seeking to argue that there was offer,

acceptance and consideration you appear to be of the opinion that there is a contract

between you and Towergate. Our interpretation of your particulars of claim is that you are

alleging Towergate has breached such contract. With respect, it would appear you are not

aware of agency law and/or delegated underwriting authority, points made in our letter and


Towergate Insurance

Registered Office· Towergate House. Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN

Tel: 0844 892 1500 Fax: 0844 892 1501

Tc-w~r.Jc-tf IMurat'lc~ is a tr11C11l'lg ndme of ToNe•gd:f Underwriting G··_up Limited

Re9 ~feted 1n E r.·;Jlanc No 4043759 A111""ior,wr! dnd ~f>t'·Jlated by lhe f inancial °:>f- • ;.<(I' Authonty

~• ••~ " •~o,.,.

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In the way explained below, TULP acted as an agent on behalf of disclosed principals under a

Delegated Underwriting Authority {'DUA') agreement with Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance pie

('RSA'), Allianz Insurance pie {'Allianz') and Groupama Insurance Company Ltd {together the

'Consortium'). Where authorised by its principal(s), an agent can bind the principal{s) into

contracts with third parties and, under English law, the agent is not liable for breach of that

contract if the existence of the principal{s) was disclosed. TULP made the identities of the

insurers clear in policy documentation issued to you. Your insurers under the policy are those

reflected in the Property Policy Schedule. Your Property Owners Statement of Fact also

confirms the identity of the insurers and clarifies that the policy is merely administered by

TULP. Copies of both of these documents are enclosed.

Delegated Underwriting Authority

TULP managed your policy under a DUA. Delegated underwriting refers to an arrangement

where an insurer or insurers, in this instance the Consortium, delegate their underwriting

authority to someone else, in this instance TULP, to enter into contracts of insurance on their

behalf. Sometimes this arrangement will also extend to handling certain types of claims under

those policies on their behalf. Accordingly, although the policy was managed by TULP, it was

managed on behalf of the insurers. No contractual {or other) relationship exists between you

and TULP. Any reference to acting on behalf of insurers in communications merely reflected

this arrangement.

As lead insurer of the Consortium, the ultimate decision in relation to your claim lied with

RSA, no authority relating to subsidence claims having been delegated to Towergate by the

Consortium. This is why you were referred to RSA in the letter of 9 October 2013, in

response to your letter of 4 October 2013.

Our offer

We once again ask that you immediately take steps to remove Towergate from these

proceedings. We are willing to extend the deadline for the offer previously made and agree

not to seek to recover any costs from you should you remove Towergate by not later than

Monday 27 January 2014.

Please note that should you not do so we will apply for summary judgment without further

recourse to you. Your error in making Towergate a defendant in these proceedings should

now be clear.

We also reserve the right to refer to this letter in support of any application for the recovery of


We again advise that you seek legal advice in relation to the contents of this letter. We note

your intention to keep costs to a minimum and repeat that if you cannot afford a solicitor you

should be able to obtain free legal advice from the local Citizen's Advice Bureau.



Legal Department

Towergate Group


Alex Watts :

My advice is the same, costs are fixed and it is likely to be allocated as a small claim.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:

JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :


JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

hi thank you. I have had real issues accessing the Just Answer site for a few days, it just hangs pending loading the information, please accept my apologies for the delay. Given the content of the two letters I shared, would you have any concerns that the Court would grant a Summary Judgement of Application to strike out, e.g. given the paperwork and payment is all Towergate is it reasonable to join them in the action and, do they have a point on the Agency/ consortium issue? Would i be served in putting a WP offer of settlement back to them?

Alex Watts : Yes if they have the paperwork.
Alex Watts : Yes you could also be served with a settlement offer
Alex Watts : I hope this helps
JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

Thank you, when you say "yes if they have the paperwork" in respect of which questions does that relate?

Alex Watts : You asked about joining Towergate as they have all the paperwork and I agreed.
JACUSTOMER-4c4rfepw- :

Sorry I am being a bit dim. You agree it is reasonable to join Towergate in the action (as the paperwork is in their name) and that they WP letter is a try on?

Alex Watts : I agree with those two points yes.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?