Insurance Terms and Conditions for Home Buyer's Insurance
Terms and Conditions of 1 January 2023
HELP Home Owners’ Insurance applies to consumer purchasers who have purchased undeveloped land or homes that have been completed at the time of purchase, and who have entered into the insurance agreement in connection with the purchase of this home.
- The Insurer: HELP Forsikring AS, (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Company’)
- The Policyholder/Insured Party: The consumer named on the insurance certificate, (hereinafter
referred to as ‘the Insured Party’)
2 WHICH HOME/REAL ESTATE PURCHASES DOES THE INSURANCE APPLY TO?
2.1 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 TERM OF INSURANCE
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 it will cover costs in accordance with Sections 5 and 7.
If conditions that form the basis for requiring legal assistance were known to the Insured Party prior to signing the home purchase agreement, the issue will not be covered by the insurance.
Unless the property is transferred, the insurance shall remain valid for as long as the Insured Party retains a right to complain to the home seller in accordance with the Alienation Act, however this shall be limited to five years following acquisition.
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 based on 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 to the Company without undue delay. If the Company does not receive notification of the damage within one year of the circumstances and/or details that the 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 Page: https://minside.help.no/login
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +47 22 99 99 99
5 COVERAGE AREAS
5.1 What is Covered?
The Insurance covers the Insured Party's reasonable and necessary lawyer costs, as well as the costs related to reasonable and necessary documentation associated with claims against and legal disputes with a seller and a seller’s liability insurance (home seller’s insurance policy). This only applies if it is deemed likely that the Insured Party has a claim as a result of 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.
Costs of lawyer assistance will be covered at an hourly rate equivalent to the applicable public fee rate, cf. Section 2 of the Public Fee Regulation. In cases where the Insured Party uses a lawyer appointed by the Company, cf. Sections 7.3 and 7.4, this insurance shall also cover:
- Liability for imposed legal costs.
- Court fees, and fees/costs related to expert judges and court-appointed witnesses.
5.2 What is Not Covered?
- The costs and risks associated with interventions and returns of structures, installations,
terrain, etc. (e.g. in connection with the cause/extent of damage)
- Costs related to design work, application processes, fees incurred during planning permission processes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Costs related to compensation claims against the board/management of companies that sold the property to the Insured Party.
The Insured Party is subject to an excess of NOK 4,000 per insured event. When multiple issues are reported in such a way that they are dealt with at once (under the same claim number), this shall constitute a single insured event. This excess shall be triggered once the Insured Party has received 10 hours of support, an expert or appraisal is requisitioned, 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 of their expenses incurred in the dispute with the counterparty, and the Company is thus refunded all its costs by the Insured Party, cf. Section 7.5, the Insured Party shall then be refunded their excess/es by the Company.
7 THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE INSURED PARTY AND THE COMPANY
7.1 General – Mutual Duty of Loyalty
The parties undertake to conduct themselves with loyalty to one another.
7.2 The Insured Party’s Duty of Disclosure
The Insured Party shall provide the Company with a statement of the fact and evidence in order to provide the Company with a sufficient basis on which to evaluate and determine the issue of coverage, cf. Sections 3 and 5. The Company may carry out a new assessment of whether coverage is provided should the factual or legal grounds for the claim change. The Insured Party shall provide all information that may be of significance to any such new assessment of the issue of coverage. The Company may cease to provide further coverage if the factual or legal basis of the claim changes and this likelihood requirement is no longer satisfied, cf. Section 5.1.
The Insured Party undertakes to supply to the Company all documentation that the Insured Party has access to and that may be of significance to coverage provided by this insurance.
The Insured Party undertakes to take care of all documentation related to the purchase of their home and any contractual violations and provide this to the Company upon request.
All questions of significance in assessing whether coverage is to be provided must be responded to 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 may be relevant to the insured event.
The Insured Party undertakes to disclose all other relevant insurance policies he/she is entitled to coverage under.
The Insured Party shall not take their own steps, including negotiation or legal measures, in relation to the counterparty without the prior agreement of the appointed lawyer. 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.
7.3 The Company Appoints a Lawyer on Behalf of the Insured Party
The insurance will cover the costs of legal assistance in accordance with the terms and conditions, cf. Section 5. Lawyer 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. The Company undertakes to appoint a lawyer on behalf of the Insured Party.
The Insured Party and the Company shall receive a justified evaluation of the likelihood of whether the claim will succeed. If it cannot be concluded that it is likely the claim will succeed, further coverage may be stopped, cf. Sections 7.2 and 5.
7.4 The Insured Party Selects Their Own Lawyer
If the Insured Party wishes to use a lawyer of their own choosing, the insurance will cover lawyer assistance provided that the case is covered by the terms and conditions of insurance, cf. Section 5.
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-appointed witnesses, shall not be covered.
Liability for imposed legal costs shall not be covered if the Insured Party uses a lawyer of their own choosing.
The Company is not liable for costs arising from a change of lawyer.
The Insured Party must notify the Company of their decision to appoint a lawyer of their own choosing. 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 submit to the Company a justified evaluation of the likelihood of the claim succeeding. If it is not possible to conclude that the claim is likely to succeed, further coverage may be stopped, cf. Sections 5 and 7.2.
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 The Insured Party’s Obligations in the Event of 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 legal costs and compensation for other expenses be assigned to the Company.
If the Insured Party fails to submit a claim for legal costs and compensation for other expenses to the counterparty, the Company shall require the Insured Party to reimburse them for such costs. Costs shall thus be regarded as an advance against those costs the Insured Party has in a case regarding defects against the seller of the property.
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 judgement or alternative legal decision, the Insured Party enters into a settlement agreement that reduces the Insured Party's claim for coverage of case costs and compensation items covered by the Company, the subsequent agreement between the Insured Party and the counterparty shall not be binding in terms of the Company’s rights. The Insured Party must submit an itemised timesheet and details of any other legal costs and expenses that the Insured Party is claiming for under the policy as soon as possible following the conclusion of any legal decision. When a lawyer has represented the Insured Party in a court process, a timesheet and details of any other legal costs and expenses must be submitted 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
8.1 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. Complaints may be submitted to:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By letter: HELP Forsikring AS, Postboks 1870, 0124 Oslo
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.
8.2 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 taking out the insurance, 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 documents are available on the customer portal under ‘My Page’.
11 ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING
Due to anti-money laundering regulations, the Insured Party is always obliged to confirm their identity to HELP by logging in to HELP's ‘My Page’ using their BankID or using other satisfactory means of identification.
If it is not possible to confirm the identity of the Insured Party then coverage shall cease to apply.
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.