Insurance Terms and Conditions for Home Buyer's Insurance
Terms and Conditions of 1 February 2020
HELP Home Buyer’s insurance is for a consumer purchaser who has purchased undeveloped land or a home that has been completed at the time of purchase, and who has entered into the insurance agreement in connection with the purchase of this home.
Insurer: HELP Forsikring AS, (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Company’) Policyholder/
Insured party: The consumer purchaser named on the insurance certificate,
(hereinafter referred to as ‘the Insured Party’)
2 WHICH HOME/REAL ESTATE PURCHASES DOES THE INSURANCE APPLY TO?
- Residential property
- The insurance applies to the purchase of undeveloped land or homes in Norway, as set out in the insurance certificate, and as regulated by the Alienation Act.
- There is limited coverage when purchasing agricultural property, former agricultural property - including smallholdings, and other combined types of property.
- When purchasing agricultural property or former agricultural property - including smallholdings, only legal assistance related to circumstances associated with the farmhouse (the Insured Party’s primary residence) are covered by the insurance. Legal assistance related to other buildings, structure, installations, including exterior pipe and tank installations, as well as plot/land areas is not covered.
- When purchasing another combined type of property, only legal assistance related to the part of the building/building mass that has been sold for residential purposes is covered by the insurance. Legal assistance related to other buildings, structure, installations, including exterior pipe and tank installations, as well as plot/land areas is not covered.
3 INSURANCE DURATION
The insurance covers the cost of legal assistance required during the insurance duration in accordance with Sections 5 and 7 of the terms and conditions.
The insurance is valid from the time when the home purchase agreement is signed by both contracting parties, provided that the premium is paid no later than the agreed date of completion, and covers the costs in accordance with Sections 5 and 7.
The insurance does not cover conditions that form the basis for requiring legal assistance that were known to the Insured Party prior to signing the home purchase agreement.
Unless the property is transferred, the insurance duration shall last for as long as the Insured Party retains a right to complain to the home seller in accordance with the Alienation Act. Regardless, the insurance duration shall be limited to five years following the transfer.
The insurance shall be terminated if the Insured Party enters into an agreement (bid acceptance) for the onward sale of the property or any other form of transfer to a third party. Legal assistance required as a result of conditions that became known to the Insured Party following the entry into the agreement with the third party shall therefore not be covered. The same applies when changing.
4 MAKING CLAIMS
The Insured Party must make a claim for the damage/need for legal assistance to the Company without undue delay. If the Company does not receive notification of the damage/need for legal assistance within one year of the circumstances and/or details that the need for legal assistance/case is based upon becoming known to the Insured Party, the right to insurance coverage shall lapse, cf. section 8-5 of the Insurance Contracts Act. Communications to the Company should be made to:
HELP Forsikring AS Postboks 1870 0124 Oslo
My account: https://minside.help.no/login Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +47 22 99 99 99
5 COVERAGE AREAS
- What is covered?
- The insurance covers the Insured Party’s reasonable and necessary costs of a lawyer, as well as costs for reasonable and necessary documentation, in connection with complaints and legal disputes against the seller and the seller’s liability insurance (home sellers insurance) if there is a likelihood that the Insured Party has a claim as a result of purchase law-based defects in accordance with the Alienation Act and the purchase agreement. The same applies in the event of a delay on the part of the home owner.
- The costs of legal counsel will be covered at an hourly rate corresponding to the currently applicable public fee rate, cf. section 2 of the Public Fee Regulation. When the Insured Party uses a lawyer appointed by the Company, cf. sections 7.3 and 7.4, the insurance additionally covers:
- Liability for any imposition of costs related to the case
- Court fees, as well as fees/costs for expert judges and court witnesses
5.2 What is not covered?
- The costs and risks associated with interventions and returns of structures, installations, terrain, etc. (for example, in connection with cause of damage/extent of damage) are not covered by the insurance.
- The costs of design, application processes, fees for planning applications.
- The insurance does not cover the costs of evaluating, presenting or pursuing claims against parties other than the home seller and their home seller’s insurance policy. Claims against previous sales will not be covered.
- The insurance does not cover costs related to claims against the seller other than those that can be derived from the purchase agreement, the Alienation Act or general contractual regulations that apply to the relationship between the Insured Party and the seller of the home in question in their capacity as seller.
- Costs associated with legal or extra judicial recovery of claims shall not be covered.
- Costs related to compensation claims against the board/management of companies that sold the property to the Insured Party shall not be covered.
The Insured Party is subject to an excess of NOK 4,000 per insured event. When several matters are reported in such a way that they are processed together (under the same claim number) this is counted as one insured event. This excess shall be triggered once the Insured Party has received 10 hours of support, an expert/appraisal is requested, or when a dispute has arisen. The Insured Party’s claim for cover shall be suspended once the excess payment is overdue.
A case shall be considered a dispute if there is disagreement concerning a claim, or if a counterparty fails to respond to a claim within a reasonable period of time.
If the Insured Party is awarded full legal costs/full coverage for costs in a dispute against a counterparty, and the Company is thus reimbursed for all its costs by the Insured Party, cf.
section 7.5, the Insured Party shall be refunded their excess(es) by the Company.
7 THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE INSURED PARTY AND THE COMPANY
- General – mutual obligation of loyalty
The parties are obliged to conduct themselves towards each other with loyalty.
- The Insured Party’s duty of disclosure
The Insured Party shall provide the Company with an account of the facts and evidence in order to provide the Company with a sufficient basis to evaluate and determine the issue of coverage, cf. sections 3 and 5. The Company may conduct a new assessment of the issue of coverage if the factual or legal basis for the claim is amended. The Insured Party shall provide all information that may be of significance to such a new assessment of the issue of coverage.
The Company may stop further coverage if the actual or legal basis for the claim is changed and the claim is no longer likely to be successful, cf. section 5.1.
The Insured Party is obliged to supply the Company with all documents that s/he may have access to, and that may be of significance to the coverage provided by this insurance.
The Insured Party undertakes to take care of all documentation related to the purchase of their home and any breach of contract and provide this to the Company upon request.
All questions of significance to the assessment of coverage shall be answered honestly and to the best of the Insured Party’s ability. The Insured Party shall, at their own initiative, provide details of all circumstances that may be of significance, and shall make themselves available, present property, objects and documents etc. to the extent that this is appropriate to the case.
The Insured Party shall inform the Company of any other relevant insurance coverage that s/he is entitled to coverage under.
The Insured Party shall not take steps by themselves, including negotiation and legal proceedings, in relation to the counterparty without the agreement of the lawyer appointed to their case. If the Insured Party does not fulfil their obligations in accordance with these insurance terms and conditions, the Insured Party may wholly or partially lose their right to coverage under this insurance policy.
- The Company shall appoint a lawyer on behalf of the Insured Party.
The insurance covers the costs of legal assistance in accordance with the terms and conditions, cf. section 5. Legal counsel will be covered at an hourly rate with a maximum limit equivalent to the public fee rate, cf. section 2 of the Public Fee Regulation.
The Company undertakes to appoint a lawyer on behalf of the Insured Party.
The Insured Party and the Company shall receive a justified assessment of the likelihood of success in the claim. If there is no likelihood of the claim being successful, further insurance coverage may be stopped, cf. sections 7.2 and 5.
- Lawyer appointed by the Insured Party
If, instead of accepting a lawyer appointed by the Company, the Insured Party wishes to use a lawyer of their own choosing, the same terms shall apply that otherwise apply, with the exception of the limitations set out in Section 7.4.1.
The Company must be notified of the decision by the Insured Party to appoint their own lawyer.
The Company shall provide a commitment to offer coverage and cover costs from the date that the Insured Party has demonstrated that it is likely that the case is covered, cf. sections 3 and 5. The Insured Party shall provide the Company with a justified assessment of the likelihood of success in the claim. If there is no likelihood of the claim being successful, further insurance coverage may be stopped, cf. sections 5 and 7.2.
7.4.1 Limits when a lawyer is appointed by the Insured Party
Liability for any imposition of costs related to the case shall not be covered if the Insured Party uses a lawyer of their own choosing. The Company is not liable for costs related to any change of lawyer.
Legal assistance will be covered at an hourly rate with a maximum limit equivalent to the public fee rate, cf. section 2 of the Public Fee Regulation. Court fees, including the cost of expert judges and court witnesses, shall not be covered.
The limitations in this section also apply if the Insured Party chooses to have a lawyer appointed by the Company after legal action has been taken against the home seller/seller’s liability insurer.
7.5 Obligations of the Insured Party in legal process
In the event of a legal process, the Insured Party shall submit a claim for case-related costs and compensation for other expenses to the counterparty. This claim must in principle be pursuant to the Dispute Act insofar as there is a basis for this. Awarded case-related costs and compensation for other expenses shall accrue to the Company to an amount equivalent to that paid out under the policy. The Company may demand that the Insured Party’s claim for court costs and compensation for other costs is transferred to it.
The decision of the court, or the most recent decision of the court in instances where the case is processed by several different courts, shall determine the Company’s claim for awarded case-related costs and other compensation due to the Insured Party.
If, following a court judgement or the establishment of another legally-binding decision, the Insured Party enters into a settlement agreement that reduces the Insured Party’s claim for coverage of case costs and compensation that is covered by the Company, the subsequent agreement between the Insured Party and the counterparty shall not be binding on the rights of the Company. The Insured Party shall provide the Company with a specified timesheet and details of any other case costs and expenses that the Insured Party wishes to have covered under the policy as soon as possible following the establishment of a court ruling. When a lawyer has represented the Insured Party in court proceedings, the timesheet and details of any other case costs and expenses must be provided to the Company no later than two weeks after the judgement is handed down.
Upon request from the Company, the Insured Party undertakes to request that the court fix the lawyer’s remuneration in accordance with Section 3-8 of the Dispute Act. The Company is not responsible for legal costs that exceed the remuneration determined by the court.
8 RESOLUTION BY TRIBUNAL
- The Company’s Complaints Board
If the Insured Party disagrees with a decision to close a case or not pursue a claim further, they may request that the decision is reviewed by the Company’s independent tribunal. The complaint may be submitted to:
Email: email@example.com By letter:
HELP Forsikring AS Postboks 1870
The tribunal consists of three persons, of which at least one member should have a background in a consumer organisation or in the public sector working on consumer issues, and at least one member should have legal expertise. Resolution by tribunal is free of charge to the complainant.
The tribunal will determine whether the case should continue at the Company’s expense or be closed. The Insured Party shall be informed of the outcome of the resolution by tribunal. The tribunal chairman is entitled to reject appeals that will clearly not succeed.
If the Insured Party chooses to pursue the case at their own initiative and expense following resolution by tribunal, and their case is successful, their necessary costs shall be covered, cf. section 5. The assessment shall be carried out on the basis of the regulations concerning the determination of case costs set out in the Dispute Act.
- Other Complaints Tribunals
The Insured Party may also request to submit their case to the Norwegian Financial Services Complaints Board, cf. section 20-1 of the Insurance Contracts Act. This applies to all parts of the insurance agreement and insurance settlement. Complaints are considered free of charge to the complainant. The complaint should be submitted electronically using the complaints form at www.finansklagenemnda.no. The Norwegian Financial Services Complaints Board may also be contacted by phone on +47 23 13 19 60 and the secretariat has a duty to provide guidance to the public.
9 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
The Company shall communicate with the Insured Party electronically, and by being an insurance policyholder, approval is implicitly given that all communication between the Insured Party and the Company can be electronic. Information sent from the Company may contain important information, and the Insured Party must take care to carefully review all electronic communication from the Company, as it may contain key details of the insurance cover, such as:
- Insurance terms and conditions
- Invoices (where failure to pay may result in the insurance cover ceasing)
- Documents applicable to the cessation of the insurance
- Documents linked with any claims
Electronic communication means that HELP sends you information as an email attachment or will inform you by email/text message when new document are available on the customer portal under ‘My Page’.
11 MONEY LAUNDERING
Due to the rules on money laundering, the Insured Party is always obliged to confirm their identity to HELP by logging in to HELP’s ‘My Page’ using BankID or another means ensuring an identification check is completed.
If the Insured Party is unable to verify their identity, coverage shall be terminated.
12 BACKGROUND LAW
The insurance agreement consists of an insurance certificate and insurance terms and conditions, as well as the provisions set out in the Act of 16 June 1989 no. 69 concerning insurance agreements (the Insurance Contracts Act) and other legislation.