“It should also be emphasized that the insurance contract is a contract of special trust and that its terms and provision should be clear, understandable and unambiguous so that the policyholder can be fully aware – before the conclusion of the contract – of risks which are not covered and of the grounds which limit or exclude the liability of the insurance. It is unacceptable to even consider an interpretation of so called General Terms and Conditions of The Agreement provisions that would justify a refusal to pay if the policyholder only becomes aware after the event has occurred that it was not covered by the insurance”. The Supreme Court took this position in the case of the cassation complaint of company V. Sp. z o.o., in the case no. II CSK 595/17 – judgment of 8 November 2018.
In the case referred to above, the Supreme Court resolved the issue related to the civil liability insurance agreement concluded between the parties for the business activity or use of property, and also the issue related to the claim for compensation, as well as the issue related to the interpretation of the provisions of the agreement and the general terms and conditions of the agreement, which constitute an integral annex to the insurance agreement.
In its justification, the Supreme Court raised an important issue related to the insurance agreement and provisions of the general terms and conditions of the agreement, indicating at the same time that “The insurance agreement concluded with the respondent was of a guarantee and protection nature, and its purpose was to recover the amounts paid, so the interpretation of the agreement and provisions of the general terms and conditions of insurance together with the adopted clauses should take into account the interest of the insured. A reasonable result of the interpretation of the contract cannot lead to deprivation of protection of the insured person”.
The ruling was issued as a result of a cassation complaint lodged on behalf of the company by a team of lawyers from Sobczyńscy Adwokaci (a team led by attorney Michał Sobczyński). The complaint was filed against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Poznań – in the scope dismissing the complaint – concerning the claim for compensation. The Supreme Court shared the position contained in the cassation appeal and, in its judgment of 8 November 2018, overruled the appealed judgment of the Court of Appeals in Poznań – in the scope dismissing the claim, while transferring the case in this part for re-examination and resolving the legal issue.