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Australia’s federal court sides with insurers on 8 of 9 COVID-19 BI test cases

8th October 2021 - Author: Charlie Wood

The Insurance Council of Australia has noted the country’s federal court’s decision to uphold the arguments advanced by insurers in eight of the nine matters related to the business interruption test case.

The Insurance Council of AustraliaIn one matter the court found that the cover had been triggered but held that there were substantial issues as to whether the policyholder could prove any relevant business interruption.

In a separate case the Federal Court also ruled that insurers could not rely on a section of Victorian property legislation to exclude liability.

The Insurance Council and its members are said to be reviewing the reasons delivered by the court and will provide a further statement early next week.

Given the complex nature of the matter and the need to provide clarity to both insurers and policyholders as quickly as possible, the Federal Court has anticipated and planned for an appeal to the decision.

Gallagher Re

As a result,  the federal court has already set aside time in the second week of November 2021 for the full court to hear any appeal that may be filed by insurers or policyholders.

It’s also been noted that the industry will meet the costs of policyholders in any appeal process.

“We welcome today’s judgment of the Federal Court which provides an important step towards finalising these matters,” said Comment attributable to Andrew Hall, CEO Insurance Council of Australia.

“Insurers, including those not directly involved in the court proceedings, are committed to applying the principles of the courts’ final ruling consistently and efficiently to all business interruption claims.

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