15. Feb 16

Possible to revoke life insurance policy despite prior cancellation

According to a ruling of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm), it is possible to revoke a life insurance plan even after the policy has already been cancelled (Az.: 20 U 56/14).

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: It is possible to unravel life insurance policies and pension schemes even if the policy or scheme in question was cancelled prior to notice of withdrawal being announced. That was the decision of the Oberlandesgericht Hamm in its ruling of June 17, 2016.

The case before the OLG Hamm concerned the withdrawal of a policyholder from a life insurance policy that he had concluded in 2003. He cancelled the policy in 2006 and up until then had paid 32,800 euros in total contributions. The insurer accepted the cancellation and paid a surrender value of around 14,300 euros. The consumer eventually announced his withdrawal from the policy in September 2010 and requested that the insurer reimburse the premiums he had paid, claiming that he had not been properly informed about his right of revocation. The insurer took a different view, with the result that the consumer’s claim ultimately ended up before the OLG Hamm.

The OLG found in favour of the consumer. It stated that he had not been properly informed about his right of revocation. The guidance provided lacked the necessary clarity because it did not stand out sufficiently from the rest of the contract’s text. Regarding the substance of the policy, the Court went on to say that it did not adequately outline that the period for withdrawal does not begin until after the certificate of insurance, insurance terms and conditions, and any other information that is to be made available to consumers have been handed over. Moreover, it was not made sufficiently clear to the consumer that for the period of withdrawal to be initiated it was necessary for the certificate of insurance, insurance terms and conditions, and any other consumer information to be handed over.

The OLG also held that prior cancellation of the insurance contract was not an obstacle to withdrawal at a later date. The lack of proper instructions concerning the right of revocation meant that the consumer was not able to properly exercise his right to choose between cancellation and withdrawal, as he was not sufficiently aware of his option to withdraw.

Consumers who wish to revoke their life insurance policy can turn to lawyers who are versed in the fields of banking and capital markets law.

For more informations:

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/capital-markets-law.html

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