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Hope you can assist on a little travel claim as the insurers are declining based on semantics.

Our client has a corporate travel policy in place. Our client makes up part of the executive management team and is a major shareholder. He is not currently one of the four directors as this responsibility is rotated amongst the senior shareholders on an annual basis. The business does not like to use "hierarchical titles" and that is why they rotate the directors annually. Our specific client is in essence the "boss∫.

Our client went away on a pure leisure trip to Botswana and there was a fire that destroyed the lodge. They only lost a few items to the value of $1500. 

The claim has been declined under the pure leisure travel definition: Pure leisure travel means international leisure or holiday travel that does not include a business component, undertaken during the policy period by an insured person who is referenced in category (a) on the policy schedule...a) All company directors (including executive and non-executive directors), chief officer, chief executive officer and chief operating officer.

This is designed to ensure that not all the employees of the business are covered for every little trip. Now "the boss" is being excluded purely because he does not have a status symbol currently next to his name yet still owns 75% of the business.

Is there any way around this? I would appreciate your thoughts.


Reply: Crossley Gates

Assuming your client does not come within the categories of chief officer, chief executive officer or chief operating officer, he may well be a director at law anyway even if not presently named as one in the Companies Office records. 

This is because of the wide definition of a “director” at section 126 of the Companies Act 1993. It includes anyone occupying the position of director by whatever name called and can even extend to shareholders in certain circumstances.

Sept 2019

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