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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My wife had a medical insurance contract which she secured

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My wife had a medical insurance contract which she secured via a company insurance arrangement with her former husband. When she divorced she asked whether she could remain on the policy and the response was that she could, so long as her former husband did not re-marry. This arrangement was honoured for several years with the company accepting payments via direct debit from my wife's bank account.
Recently, whilst making a claim on the policy she was told that she should never have been allowed to have retained cover and so her policy was void.
As they had accepted payment for the policy for several years did they have a legally enforceable contract with my wife and should we try to get cover re-instated?

Buachaill :

1. In law, there is taken to be a contract here, because your wife relied to her detriment upon the representation made by the insurance company that they would continue cover on the basis she remained on her former husband's policy. The law, under the principle of estoppel prevents the insurance company from resiling from representation made by them as your wife deterimentally relied upon this representation. So the insurance agreement is upheld but on the basis of estoppel.

Buachaill :

2. The estoppel prevents the insurance agreement from being voided by the insurance company. However, this estoppel only relates to the past and cannot continue into the future. So whilst she can make a valid claim on the policy owing to events in the past, the insurance company cannot be forced to continue cover into the future to your wife on the same basis.

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