Insurance contract: Error in the settlement of claims with insurance company

Fire Damage Settlement:

In connection with a fire loss, the policyholder (PC) reported a loss. The insurer’s employee determined the amount of loss on an inventory fire policy. Due to an alleged underinsurance (objects were outside the building), the insurer reduced the benefit – the policyholder agreed (settlement agreement).

Common Misconception:

Later, the insurer and the insured realized a common mistake. However, the insurer refused to correct the error and re-bill. The case eventually ended up before the Regional Court – later before the Higher Regional Court.


The judgement of the OLG Hamm (Az. 20 U 100/05) of 14.10.2005 corrected the insurer, who had to pay additional costs. For connoisseurs of the matter, the decision appears absolutely logical, because if both parties to a contract (in this case a settlement agreement) are mistaken, this has regularly led to an adjustment of the contract since the introduction of the BGB on 01.01.1900 (since 01.01.2002 regulated in § 313 II BGB) according to the principles on the discontinuation of the basis of the contract.


by Dr. Johannes Fiala

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Dr. Johannes Fiala Dr. Johannes Fiala

Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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