Insurers have been given important guidance by the Court of Appeal in determining claims arising from intentional acts of the insured with unintended consequences, lawyers said this week.

In a key decision, the Court of Appeal has overturned an earlier High Court ruling which found that a household liability exclusion for claims and liabilities arising from "any wilful, malicious or criminal act" required insurers to show that the insured intended to cause the damage.

The Court of Appeal has now over-ruled this, stating that it was not necessary to show that any damage suffered by a "wilful act" was intended.

Law firm Keoghs, which acted for the insurers, Royal London in the case, said that as a result of the judgment, insurers might now consider redrafting their policies.