Publication on liability and insurance law

Benjamin Schumacher, one of Nater Dallafior's experts on liability and insurance law, published an article on the revision of the Swiss Federal Insurance Contract Act (ICA) in Switzerland's leading journal for insurance law (HAVE - Haftung und Versicherung, vol. 4/2021). The co-authors are Patrick Dummermuth and Lukas Bupp, both of Kessler & Co. AG.

Under the previous law (in force until 31 December 2021), damaged persons did not have a general right to bring claims directly against the insurer, but had to claim damages from the tortfeasor. Only a few special laws (e.g. Road Traffic Act, Inland Waterway Vessel Act) contained provisions allowing a damaged person to sue the tortfeasor's insurer directly. The partially revised ICA, which came into force on 1 January 2022, marks a paradigm shift in this regard. Under the revised ICA, all injured persons now have a direct right of claim against the insurer of the injuring person by operation of law, in the realm of both compulsory and voluntary liability insurance. However, there are important differences between compulsory and voluntary liability insurance, in particular since an exclusion of defence and a right to information are only provided for in relation to compulsory liability insurance. Benjamin Schumacher's article provides an overview of the innovations and sheds light on various questions that are likely to arise in practice. The focus is on the direct claim between the injured party and the insurer in the area of voluntary liability insurance.