Shimon Cohen – Insurance

Pesach Insurance Tip

Pesach Insurance Tip

Pesach – that time of year where even the tiniest crumb is important.

Some insurance cases which “turn on a word”:

Good Intentions
Mr. Z. B. worked for the same firm for 30 years. In that period of time, he had a bituach menhalim policy that did not include permanent disability cover. He then moved to a new employer who took over the original bituach menhalim and agreed to carry on paying the premiums. The new employer also added an extra 2 ½ % ostensibly to add on disability cover. However, neither the employer nor his bookkeeping staff specified what the extra money was meant for. The insurance company (Migdal) simply added the extra amount to the savings part of the policy.

Unfortunately, Mr. Z.B. was then diagnosed with a brain tumor and was totally unable to work. The family claimed for the disability and this was rejected on the grounds that no one had ever asked for the disability cover to be added on, and that at least two yearly reports had been sent both to Mr. Z.B. and his employer.

Mr. Z.B. in turn claimed that there was obvious intent to add on the cover and in fact an additional amount of money had been paid in each month. The judge in the case criticized Migdal for using a “rosh katan”. However, this was not sufficient to counterbalance the fact that mere intention is not enough. Without some form of written request, there was simply no basis for the claim.

Moral: Check your own bituach menhalim – do not assume things and do not rely on the “יהיה בסדר” syndrome!

Citizen vs Insurance Company

Mrs. E. insured her Citroen with the Shirbit Insurance Company. On 5.11.12, the car was stolen. To Mrs. E’s dismay, the insurance company refused to pay on the grounds that she had had a previous car stolen in 1998. The insurance company claimed that one of the questions asked on the proposal form was whether there had been previous claims or thefts. Mrs. E. stated that she had answered fully and clearly that on the Citroen there had been no previous claims. She even produced a letter from her previous insurer. Shirbit claimed that the question related to all cars previously insured by Mrs. E. and that this was important and relevant information which Mrs. E. had hidden from the company.

The verdict!

The court held that if on the insurance company form itself the question did not appear directly, they did obviously not regard it as being important and relevant information. Mrs. E. was not, therefore, expected to volunteer such information. Shirbit paid up the NIS 69,000 for the claim, and Mrs. E. went home smiling!

Pesach Drivers

  • Your son/daughter is now home from Yeshiva/Army/Seminary and wants the car! Make sure that you have added on young drivers to your motor policy. This usually has to be done by sending an email to your agent specifically requesting that this be added on.
  • Visitors using your car – what is the law regarding foreign driving licenses??

A quick quiz

  • An Oleh can drive for 3 years on his/her foreign license – Y/N
  • As long as you retain your tourist status, you can drive on your foreign license indefinitely – Y/N
  • If you’re a returning Israeli and you took out a foreign license just before coming to Israel, you can transfer this to an Israeli license – Y/N

*See bottom of article for the answers

A quick summary

  • Oleh Chadash, Tourist, Returning Resident, Temporary Resident Needs an Israeli license? Not immediately.

Period of time? Up to 1 year from date of entry to Israel.

  • Tourist/Student (coming in and out of Israel during the year)
    Period of time is unclear in the law, each case to be decided separately.Usually, each new entry to Israel starts the process again.
  • Transferring a foreign license to an Israeli license
    Oleh Chadash – license can be transferred within 3 years of being in Israel, on condition that foreign license was issued before the Aliyah date.
    Temporary Resident, Tourist, Returning Israeli -license can be transferred within a year of arrival in Israel, on condition that it has been valid for at least 6 months. For all transfers, one needs to take a simplified lesson/test, contact a local driving school.
    So, all of you driving with valid New York licenses, but not valid Israel licenses….don’t take the chance!!


* All answers to the quiz are NO!

חג כשר ושמח!


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