Major insurance company enters bankruptcy04/06/18
Alpha Insurance Company A/S has recently been declared bankrupt.
Although a Danish company, Alpha Insurance Company A/S was responsible for a significant number of insurance policies in the UK, which include certain insurances regarded as essential in the UK property and construction industry, such as home insurances, professional indemnity, structural defect warranties and the CRL 10 year new homes warranty.
As the company was Danish, the Danish Guarantee Fund or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK may provide cover in certain instances. Importantly, in the case of many of these policies, any claim which you may have against the FSCS now will not transfer to potential new owners of the relevant site, which may have a very negative effect on property value and marketability.
A quick and appropriate response is essential to ensure that you protect your interests in the most appropriate way. Failure to act now could have very serious consequences, both financially and may leave you without insurance cover for key events which may seriously affect your business in the future.
We urgently recommend that you carry out the following activities, some of which are inter-linked:
- Check all your insurance policies to see if they were backed by Alpha Insurance Company A/S. It may not be immediately apparent on the face of the policy so it would be wise to contact the insurance company named on the certificate directly to check the position.
- Consider if your insurance policy has become invalid and if so arrange alternative cover immediately.
- Review whether there are any outstanding claims that you have against your current policies, or how any on-going claims will be managed going forward.
- If you are a Registered Provider or a Developer who will be acquiring units which had the benefit of a warranty backed by Alpha (especially a CRL one), consider whether an alternative warranty should be negotiated now as the current situation may well prevent the onward disposal of the units.
- Consider contacting the Danish Guarantee Fund and the FSCS to discuss your particular situation to ensure you are fully-informed of the possible protection which you may be entitled to from these entities.
- Timing is key: it is extremely likely that there will be strict time limits which appropriate action needs to be taken or any rights which you may have had will become obsolete and unenforceable.
- Is a premium refund possibly payable to you if the policy has fallen away before its expiry date?
- Should the bankrupt estate of Alpha Insurance be notified? If so it is very wise to notify them at the earliest opportunity.
How Capsticks can help
We are a full-service law firm with a team of solicitors who have significant expertise in advising on construction, development and housing law matters. If you require any advice on this issue or guidance on the most appropriate action then please do get in touch with us and we can guide you in the right direction.