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Question...

My clients have recently separated, and their house and contents policies are in joint names. One party has moved out into another jointly-owned home.

The separation, after many years of marriage, is far from a happy one, and I recently received instructions from the person remaining in the home to cancel both policies, several weeks after renewal, as she has made other arrangements and insured elsewhere.

Whilst seeking confirmation from the other joint owner, I advised that I would not be in a position to accept cancellation instruction until such time as I received such confirmation from the other joint owner, and outlined the "other Insurance" clauses in both the existing and "new" insurer's wordings which could jeopardise, or at least delay, any claim acceptance, and suggested deferment of the new insurance until resolved.

Neither party is inclined to seek legal advice, (due to cost?) or indeed to try to resolve, and there is apparently some form of legal impediment to correspondence between the parties - other than via their legal advisers.

The other owner has now advised me that they do not agree to the cancellation and 'status stands until a judge decides'.

I'm somewhat stuck in the middle of this issue between the two parties, and was just enquiring whether there is anything else anyone can suggest that I ought to be doing?


Reply: Crossley Gates

No, you have done everything correctly. You act for them both and you owe a duty of care to them both. You should not carry out any further instructions until they both agree to them. The fact that they cannot agree is not, of course, of your making.



June 2020

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