Earlier this year, a Chilean court found an insurance broker
liable to an insurance beneficiary for failing to obtain the
insurance coverage requested, which led to the insurer denying the
beneficiary's claim for disability benefits. Silva v.
Vorbezza, C-7077-2007 (Juzgado Civil de
The court found that a workers association had requested that
the broker obtain death and disability coverage for its members,
including in the event that they were injured in the course of
their work as horsemen. The broker obtained death and disability
coverage for the organization's members, but the policy
contained an exclusion for death or injuries occurring during the
beneficiaries' professional work.
The beneficiary plaintiff suffered an injury while engaged in
horseback riding and suffered 70% disability. The insurer denied
coverage and the beneficiary brought suit against the broker. The
court found the broker liable for failing to obtain the requested
coverage and imposed damages in the amount that would have been
recoverable under the insurance policy had it been properly
The court further refused to dismiss the beneficiary's claim
on the basis that the four-year time bar had passed, finding that
the broker's communications with the beneficiary interrupted
the running of the time bar. There is some question whether this
further holding is supportable under Article 2518 of the Chilean
Civil Code, which requires that a defendant recognize an
obligation, not simply correspond with a plaintiff, in order to
interrupt the time bar.
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