Shimon Cohen – Insurance

Insurance in the Courtroom

Interesting insurance cases in the courts:

Case #1

Mrs. S., an “ozeret”/cleaning woman, had worked for the Lowy’s for five years. In 2010, before Pesach, she climbed a ladder to take down the curtains for cleaning. Unfortunately, she fell and broke her ankle badly. After medical treatment, she was classified by Bituach Leumi with a 27% lifetime disability. This she claimed from the Lowy family. Unfortunately (again), the Lowy’s did not have insurance and took the case to court claiming that Mrs. S. herself had been negligent in climbing up and slipping. Upon closer investigation, the ladder itself was found to have been unstable – a fact which was known to both Mrs. S. and the Lowy family.

The judge found the Lowy’s to be liable for 65% of the claim and Mrs. S. for the balance.

Lessons to learn:

1) Make sure you have home insurance which usually includes coverage for an ozeret (you must also pay Bituach Leumi and pension for her) – ask us for details.

2) If you are asking your ozeret to do something special, make sure all the appliances and tools are in working order.

Case #2

Mr. C., an elderly man, was crossing the street in Netyana. At the same time, Mr. E. was driving towards the crossing. At first Mr. E didn’t see the pedestrian, but at the last moment he slammed on the brakes and managed to stop a few meters away. Mr C. was terrified by the screeching brakes and fell in the street. The driver, Mr. E., left his car and called for an ambulance. Unfortunately, the pedestrian died later in the hospital.

His family sued the driver on the grounds that the screech of the brakes had caused Mr. C’s heart to fail.

The judge ruled that the driver had done everything possible to help the deceased. According to law, a motor accident is only where there is actual physical contact. In this case, this did not happen. The judge did, however, reprimand the driver for driving too fast and inadvertently being part of the unfortunate incident.

Lesson to learn:

Drive slowly when approaching a pedestrian crossing – for their sake as well as yours!

From the insurance agent’s desk


Over the past two weeks we have had two cases where clients of ours were directed by the insurance company to do a polygraph (lie detector) test.

In both cases, the claim was not black and white. In one, an expensive ring was lost and in the second, an expensive watch. In both cases, a long time elapsed between the loss and the actual claim, which led the insurance assessor to think that maybe facts had been mixed up or forgotten.

What is a polygraph?

It works on the basis that a normal person’s pulse rate increases slightly when he is lying. Therefore, they get a base rate with questions such as:  “what is your name?” “Do you live on…?,” and then go on to the “real” questions. The more nervous a person is to start with, the more reliable are the results as the pulse rate difference is more clearly defined.

Points to consider:

1) Both sides have to sign that they agree to the terms of the polygraph – it’s ”all or nothing.” If the client is found to be telling the truth, he will be paid out in full without further question but, if not…. nothing!

2) It’s imperative to ask for the polygraph in English so that there is no misunderstanding in the translation.


Good Luck!




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