Following termination, the gaps arising from the invalidity of provisions are to be closed by means of supplementary interpretation of the life insurance contracts.
Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/03/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and London http://www.grprainer.com/en conclude: If a policyholder prematurely brings the life insurance contract to an end, the provisions affected therein thus become ineffective. In particular, the provisions regarding the calculation of the redemption value and the allocation of acquisition costs from the life insurance policy are of great importance and gaps to be closed. According to the BGH, these gaps ought to be closed by means of supplementary interpretation of the contract. This would mean that the policyholder, who concluded the contract in question by the end of 2007, receives the benefits promised in the contract on the part of the insurer.
This was the decision of the BGH in two judgments on September 11, 2013 (Az.: IV ZR 17/13, IV ZR 114/13), in which it went on to clarify, however, that this sum may not exceed a specified minimum amount.
In this instance, both policyholders had concluded their life insurance policies in 2004 and terminated them in 2009 respectively, whereupon the insurers calculated, accounted for and paid out the redemption value, whose calculation was contractually agreed upon, to the claimants. However, the claimants did not accept this amount. They demanded more and ultimately sued. They invoked a judgment of the BGH from the year 2012 in which the BGH determined that clauses providing for an allocation of the acquisition costs with the early contributions according to the Zillmer procedure are invalid because of the unreasonable disadvantage placed on the policyholder.
The BGH then had to grapple for the first time with the consequences of these kinds of clauses being invalid and decided to continue the jurisprudence on calculating invalid clauses due to a lack of transparency. This meant hereafter that all contracts with these kinds of clauses must be treated the same and the rules pertaining to the German Insurance Contract Act (VVG) are only to be applied from 2008, as the legislature expressly did not want retrospective effect.
In matters pertaining to insurance law, it is helpful to have the support of an expert lawyer from an early stage. A lawyer can help assess claims and examine insurance contracts.
GRP Rainer LLP http://www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.
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