1887

oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Vestiging van versekeringseise teen omgewingskade wat deur hidrobreking aangerig word : regte

 

Abstract

Breking in die Karoo kan onmeetbare omgewingskade aanrig. Waar skade gely kan word, volg versekering. Beide saakversekering en aanspreeklikheidsversekering kan ter sprake kom. Versekering teen omgewingskade wat deur besoedeling aangerig word, bied unieke uitdagings. Jare kan verloop tussen die skadeveroorsakende gebeurtenis of handeling, die manifestasie van skade, en die tydstip wanneer die versekerde 'n versekeringseis teen sy versekeraar kan instel. Versekeringsvestigingsfeite volg die stadiums van besoedeling en die gevolge daarvan. Versekeringseise kan op 'n gebeurtenisbasis vestig wanneer die skadeveroorsakende handeling of gebeurtenis plaasvind. Waar die skade ver in die toekoms manifesteer, sal die versekeraar wat op 'n gebeurtenisbasis verseker het, steeds dekking moet verleen. By die ingetredeverlies-basis sal die versekeraar wat ten tye van ontdekking of manifestasie van die skade dekking verleen het, aanspreeklik wees. Waar dekking op 'n eisebasis verleen word, sal dekking geaktiveer word wanneer die versekerde sy skade geassesseer het en in staat is om 'n versekeringseis in te dien, ongeag wanneer die skade veroorsaak is of manifesteer. In hierdie geval erf die versekeraar historiese eise wat tot retroaktiwiteit lei. Waar 'n versekerde sy dekking verskuif van 'n eisebasis na 'n gebeurtenisbasis, en skade manifesteer eers in die toekoms, kan daar geen dekking wees nie. Probleme ontstaan met die toedeling van skade waar meerdere versekeraars op verskillende basisse dekking teen dieselfde risiko verleen, of by aanspreeklikheidsversekering ten opsigte van kousaliteit en bydraende nalatigheid waar meerdere daders vir die skade aanspreeklik is.


Aan hierdie probleme is die afgelope twee dekades in die VSA en die EU-lande indringend aandag gegee. Die ontwikkeling van Suid-Afrikaanse versekerings- en omgewingsreg het egter nie hiermee tred gehou nie. Hierdie artikel bespreek die aard van die versekeringsvestigingsfeite en die problematiek van die praktiese toepassing daarvan, en ondersoek moontlike oplossings vir die komplikasies wat deur meervoudige of kumulatiewe kousaliteit en meervoudige dekking veroorsaak word.


Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can cause immeasurable damage to the fragile Karoo ecosystem and water resources. The old adage that where damage goes, insurance is certain to follow, most certainly applies. Insurance against environmental damage such as that which will result from fracking poses unique challenges, for both property and liability insurance. Years often pass between the polluting conduct, the eventual manifestation of the damage and the eventual submission of a claim by an insured against his insurer. Experience in the United States of America has shown that fracking causes harmful substances to leach into the soil and into groundwater resources. A migration of these substances in the polluted water could, over time, contaminate areas far beyond those in close proximity of the actual fracking activities. These types of damage traditionally manifest only in the future, and potential civil liability claims and ensuing liability and property insurance claims could drag on for many years. This will undoubtedly be the situation in the Karoo.
The purpose of this contribution is to sensitise potential insurers and their insureds of the risks and complexities of insurance claims against long-term environmental damage. These issues, specifically regarding environmental liability and damage claims, have been addressed extensively in the United States and in the EU during the past two decades, yet this has not been the case in South Africa. Jurisprudence on insurance claims in this field is meagre. The development of the law of delict, insurance law and environmental law has not kept up with development in other jurisdictions. This article examines the effect of insurance trigger theories and the practical effect thereof on insurance claims for environmental damage, which will surely follow in future. Issues pertaining to multiple covers, cumulative cover and the danger of a complete absence of cover are discussed.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/litnet/11/1/EJC151165
2014-03-01
2016-12-08
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error