Michael Flatley claims insurer wants to withdraw cover for Co Cork period mansion

Dancer secures court’s permission to seek an order restraining company from cancelling policy

Dancer Michael Flatley has claimed before the High Court that an insurance company plans to pull the cover it has been providing for his Co Cork period mansion.

Mr Flatley, who has brought proceedings against several parties before the commercial division of the High Court over €30 million of alleged damage to Castlehyde Manor, claims one of the defendants, the Irish branch of Hiscox Societe Anonyme, has said it will not insure the property after March 8th.

Mr Flatley, represented by Ronnie Hudson, on Wednesday, secured the court’s permission to seek an order restraining Hiscox from cancelling the policy. He also wants an injunction preventing Hiscox from denying insurance cover for the Fermoy property from March 8th until the determination of the proceedings or for the duration of the policy.

Permission to seek those orders was granted on an ex parte basis on Wednesday, with the matter due to return to court later this week.


In a sworn statement to the court in support of the application, Mr Flately said he has insured the property with Hiscox, via a brokerage, for the last few years. He claims he pays the insurer a premium of more than €5,700 per month and it has been aware he had to vacate the property late last year due to health concerns.

Mr Flatley said the policy was renewed last November for a further 12 months. However, he said his solicitor was told earlier this month that the insurer wished to cancel the policy on the ground that the occupancy of the property was different to its understanding when the policy was agreed and renewed.

He disputes that assertion and says the insurer knows it should be paying his monthly relocation expenses of up to €80,000 but has refused to do so.

He added that Hiscox is attempting to mitigate its loss and prejudice his action against it. He claims the insurer is seeking to cancel the policy in circumstances where it knew the risks before it renewed it last November.

He fears it would be very difficult to obtain an alternative insurer if Hiscox is allowed to cancel, leaving the property “in jeopardy”.

Previously, the court has heard that Mr Flatley has invested more than €29 million since acquiring the property in 1999.

In his main action, he has sued over what he claims are unsafe levels of toxic chemical residue at Castlehyde, including on the wall surfaces in the pool, spa and cinema areas. He claims that his and his family’s health has suffered as a result of the contamination and that they had to move out of the property last October.

Mr Flatley claims the unsafe levels of chloride residue are due to PVC combustion in a 2016 fire at the estate and that the alleged main renovation contractor, Austin Newport Group Ltd, was aware of a residue issue.

He is also suing three insurance underwriters: MS Amlin Underwriting Ltd, AXA XL Underwriting Agencies LTD and Hamilton Managing Agency Limited, alleging negligence, endangerment, misrepresentation and breach of duty and contract.

Hiscox SA, which has an Irish address at Sir Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin 2, was subsequently added to the case over the alleged damage to the property. It was added because, the plaintiff alleges, it has not paid him anything for having to vacate his home.

All of the allegations are denied.

Mr Flatley also sued London-based David Cushion for alleged negligent misstatement and breach of contract over allegedly acting as his accountant and insurance broker.

Earlier this week, Mr Cushion was removed as a defendant due to issues with how the proceedings were served on him. His lawyers told the court he has no responsibility for any of the alleged issues and was repeatedly assured by representatives of Mr Flatley that the case against him would be withdrawn.

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