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All Leisure wins GBP2m court case

All Leisure Holidays has won a High Court case against the underwriters of insurance company IPP.

The case arose when All Leisure bought Hebridean Princess from administrators in 2009.

Passengers booked to cruise that summer were to claim for the financial failure through an insurance policy operated by IPP.

All Leisure would then offer a replacement cruise as long as customers assigned the money they claimed back to them, rather than charging them again.  

However, underwriters of IPP refused to pay out under the policy and subsequently two and a half years later, it came to court.

Mr Justice Teare approved All Leisure Holidays' claim in full, totalling £2 million.

Roger Allard, executive chairman at All Leisure Group, said: "The verdict demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our customers and feel satisfied that judgment has at last been made despite our wishing to bring this issue to a close with the underwriters in 2009.

“Passengers and the trade remain our upmost priority and continue to be the focus of all trading decisions going forward."

Speaking after the ruling, IPP director Paul Mclean said: "The case went to trial since Insurers felt that the commercial purpose of the policy had to be recognised and that All Leisure was seeking to use the policy as a means of facilitating the purchase of the vessel and retaining the goodwill attached to the cruises of HICL. The Judge accepted submissions by Insurers on these points.

"Nevertheless, Insurers always recognised that the judge could decide in All Leisure's favour. We do not think that any individual passenger was ever out of pocket, which is very important in this business as every passenger still boarded the same cruise programme they had originally booked without having to pay again."

By Diane Evans

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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