The Court of Appeal revealed its verdict on the case between Asteron Life and financial adviser Peter Taylor. According to the story: Peter Taylor made an Income Protection claim in 2010 saying that as a result of his bone cancer he was suffering from chronic pain. Peter was able to get payments after supplying the required information on his medical condition and ability to work, but in 2014 Asteron Life suspended the payments stating Peter’s earnings made him ineligible for payments.
"The Court of Appeal released its judgment on Wednesday.
Taylor first took an Asteron Life income protection policy in 1994 and made a claim in 2010, saying he had bone cancer and suffered chronic pain.
Taylor was required to provide progress reports to Asteron describing the current state of his medical condition, whether he had been able to work, what income he had earned from working, and certain other matters.
He received payments until September 2014, when Asteron suspended them. It was concerned that he was earning at a level that would make him ineligible.”
Unhappy, Peter went to court arguing that he was still entitled to payments. Asteron Life stated that he was no longer entitled to payments and counterclaimed for repayment of the amount paid out to Peter. The court noted that Peter used the payments for holiday homes, cars and overseas trips and ruled in favour of Asteron Life. The insurer was awarded $371,286.70.
“Taylor went to court seeking a declaration that he was entitled to continuing benefits under the policy, and wanting arrears of payments.
Asteron denied he was entitled to any further payments and counterclaimed for repayment of all sums previously paid.
It said he had made false statements about the extent to which he worked while on claim.
The High Court sided with Asteron and it was awarded $371,286.70. That court noted that he had used his insurance payouts to fund a holiday home, cars and overseas trips.”
Peter then took the case to Court of Appeal. The judge again ruled in favour of Asteron Life saying that Asteron Life was entitled to a reduced counterclaim payment of $51,835.64.
”The Court of Appeal said Asteron was entitled to succeed in its counterclaim but could only recover payments made in respect of the periods about which Taylor was found to have dishonestly provided false information.
“The judge declined to find that the initial claim made in July 2010 involved false statements that breached Taylor’s obligations in relation to making claims. So Asteron’s claim as pleaded, which was founded solely on the allegation of breach of utmost good faith, could not succeed in respect of the initial period from January 2010 to July 22, 2010.
“There may well have been another basis on which the payments made in respect of that period could have been recovered. But they were not pleaded by Asteron, and Asteron did not give notice that it intended to support the High Court judgment on grounds other than those accepted by the judge.”
That reduced the amount owed to Asteron by $51,835.64. Taylor has since sold his insurance broking business. Click here to read more
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