It is not only the man on the street who have their insurance claims refused
Mick Jagger and his band mates made an insurance claim after they were forced to postpone their Australian and New Zealand leg of their world tour. The fight and subsequent legal battle on two continents is a result of the Rolling Stones insurance claim being refused after Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, Miss Scott died on the 17 March 2014.
The eight insurers, led by Cathedral Capital and Talbot 2002 Underwriting Capital Limited, both based in London have denied the claim because they claim that Miss Scott’s death – a result of Miss Scott hanging herself – was not ‘sudden and unforeseen’ or ‘beyond her control’ and so did not qualify for a payout.
The Stones insurers claimed it was ‘reasonable to infer Miss Scott had been suffering from a mental illness’ that was ‘traceable to, or accelerated by, a condition for which she had received or been recommended medical attention’. Because the Stones insurance policy did not cover suicide the Stones and their insurers now face a multi-million pound law suit in America and England.
Looking at the policy it also raises the question that any pre-existing conditions are excluded on the policy. The Rolling Stones who are just as famous for their off stage antics as for their legendary performances have many exclusions within the bands’ insurance policy.
In July 2014, the Stones sued their insurers in the High Court, alleging that they had ‘failed and refused’ to pay the £8 million, and seeking interest and costs on top of that sum
For example a claim will not be paid if anything happens to guitarist Keith Richards related to ‘alcohol abuse, liver failure and/or disease and osteoarthritis’. Keith Richards is also excluded from anything to do with the injury he suffered in 2006, when he was hit on the head by a coconut. Ronnie Wood, cannot claim for any illness to do with ‘alcohol abuse’ and Charlie Watts cannot claim for any condition related to the cancer he was diagnosed with in 2004 (standard practice) or his sciatica.
The Stones insurer is arguing that Scott’s suicide was a result of a pre-existing condition or conditions. Last month, October 2014, the insurers filed a lawsuit in New York’s Federal Court to gain access to documents which could shed light on Miss Scott’s mental health. The lawsuit included a subpoena for Adam Glassman (executor of Scott’s will), New York City medical examiner, and Scott’s British assistant, Brittany Penebre.
The insurers are attempting to gain access to any emails or messages about an ‘actual or alleged attempt at self harm by Miss Scott’ as well as her general mental health, or an ‘actual or alleged suicide attempt’.
In the Stones High Court filing, the band state: ‘Upon learning of Miss Scott’s death, Sir Mick Jagger became stricken with grief. ‘Following examination by his physicians, Sir Mick Jagger was diagnosed as suffering from acute traumatic stress disorder. His physicians advised [him] not to perform for at least 30 days.’
The insurers dispute that Mr Jagger, was so deeply upset, and claimed that the doctor who diagnosed him had not actually carried out an examination. They wrote: ‘It does not appear that Sir Mick Jagger was assessed at any time by a qualified psychiatrist or anyone else suitably qualified with sufficient expertise to make a diagnosis of acute stress disorder.’
The Rolling Stones had taken out a £15million policy to cover the costs if they were forced to cancel their tour, but the underwriters claim that because Miss Scott committed suicide, they do not have to pay out the £8million the band are demanding.
The insurers have also managed to convince a judge in Utah, where Miss Scott grew up, to be allowed to gain information from Miss Scott’s brother, Randall Bambrough including any documents and testimony to find out more about her mental state prior to the suicide.
The Stones had taken out a £15 million insurance policy to cover the costs if the band was forced to cancel their tour. In the event of a claim the policy covered up to 50 per cent of tour revenues, estimated at £28 million in case of a tragedy.