In this latest edition of our legal update, the focus is on the continuing pressure of the European and national parliaments to institute new laws to grant power of remedy to public interest groups. These laws — whether related to the extended accountability of ship-owners for compensation of affected members of the public, the requirements of restoring environmental habitats, or the assertion by associations and non-profit organizations of the rights of certain interest groups — expand casualty insurers’ fields of exposure and call for new insurance products, such as the German environmental damage liability insurance policy.
We benefit from the proximity of lawyers based in Belgium and the Netherlands to the corridors of power within the European Union Commission, and gain an insight into significant areas of new EU-wide legislation that will affect the casualty insurance community.
No legal report at this time would be complete without some assessment of the legal liability implications of the current financial crisis. The reports from Germany, Spain and Switzerland indicate the types of legal liability and litigation that may be expected, and this experience is likely to be reflected in other Continental European jurisdictions over the course of the next few years.
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