At a time when, globally, insured businesses are under severe financial strain, the availability and extent of their insurance assets take on a new significance. It is significant not just for troubled businesses and their insurers, but also for third parties with potential or actual claims against those businesses.
An insured may, for example, notify under a professional indemnity or other liability insurance in response to a third party claim. But if the insured goes into some form of insolvency process, will any insurance proceeds (or the right to those proceeds) form part of the insolvent estate?
In many jurisdictions, that is the case and it would leave the third party claiming on the insolvent estate in competition with other creditors. In other jurisdictions, however, the law instead affords the third party more direct access to the insurance proceeds.
The UK falls under the latter category, based on the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930 (the “”) and the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 (the “2010 Act”).