An insured person was climbing the North Face of the Eiger with a climbing partner when a stone broke under his feet and causing him to fall onto the rope. The climber was not injured, but his pants ripped in several places. He and his partner continued the mountain tour nonetheless. Both of them reached the summit, but the insured man suffered frostbite, as his ruined pants were no longer water-repellent. In the end, both feet had to be amputated and consequently, he claimed benefits from his insurance.
The insurance company refused to pay, as under their contractual conditions no actual accident had happened.
For the insurance company an accident only occurs "if the insured person involuntarily suffers damage to health through an event that suddenly affects the body from the outside".
The Supreme Court upheld the insurer's opinion and stated that an accident only occurs if there has been at least a minor injury to the insured person at the time of the respective incident. Damage to equipment, such as the pants, is not covered by the accident terms.
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