Category Archive: Policy Interpretation

Policy interpretation comes down to the “natural and ordinary meaning”

A recent judgment from the Victorian Supreme Court’s Insurance List, Guastalegname v Australian Associated Motor Insurers Ltd [2017] VSC 420, provides a succinct summary (and helpful refresher) of the principles to be applied when interpreting a policy of insurance. The case concerned the interpretation of a soil movement exclusion in a Home Building Insurance policy …

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Yacht insurer sunk on contribution claim – section 54 ahoy!

The Full Court of the Federal Court has dismissed an appeal concerning the operation of section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act and contribution between insurers, in a case which is understood to have had its genesis in the Court’s Insurance List for short matters: Watkins Syndicate 0457 at Lloyds v Pantaenius Australia Pty Ltd …

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Insurance Review May 2016

Welcome to Insurance Review May 2016, DLA Piper’s publication dedicated to the insurance industry. In this edition we report on developments across the insurance industry, including the impact of the AEC and other regulatory developments. We also report on the latest cases in many classes of business, including D&O, cyber, privacy, fintech, construction, medical indemnity, …

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Ingram v QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd: When reliance on a policy exclusion breaches equal opportunity laws

Insurers wishing to rely on certain exclusions in policies may need to prove that related denials of cover are in fact based on actuarial or statistical data and do not violate any discrimination law principles. Described as a ‘game changer’ at the General Insurance Open Forum on 16 March 2016 by John Price, Lead Ombudsman …

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Home and contents insurance exclusion clauses: An owner-builder is not an owner

Insurers should always be careful when it comes to policy drafting, especially exclusion clauses, as highlighted by the recent Western Australian Supreme Court decision of Austin v Verini [2015] WASC 258. Between 1993 and 1994 Mr Verini (the defendant in the action) constructed a house as an owner-builder in Ballajura, a suburb of Perth, that …

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Reasonable precautions conditions in insurance policies: Courting the danger

Alexander Gregg

A common condition in insurance policies requires the insured to take all reasonable precautions to prevent risks from coming to fruition. The recent Western Australian District Court decision of Canny v Primepower Engineering Pty Ltd [2015] WADC 81 demonstrates an example of an insurer successfully relying upon a reasonable precautions condition in a policy to deny …

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Part 2: Sienkiewicz v Salisbury Group Ltd – Insurers denial of indemnity upheld

In October 2013, James Baird posted an article following the Federal Court’s decision to join insurers to a proceeding issued by the applicants (trustees Mr and Mrs Sienkiewicz and AT Melville Pty Ltd)  against their former financial advisors The Salisbury Group (and its authorised representatives Mr Todd and Mr Martin), pursuant to Federal Court Rule …

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DLA Piper’s Insurance Review Febuary 2015

Welcome to DLA Piper’s Insurance Review February 2015 – an annual publication dedicated to the insurance industry. Please click here if you wish to view or download the publication. We hope you enjoy reading the 2015 issue and we welcome your feedback on our publication. Please feel free to send us your comments or suggestions.

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Granting leave to join an insurer, without seeing the policies – Guild Insurance Ltd v Hepburn

In Guild Insurance Ltd v Hepburn [2014] NSWCA 400, the Court of Appeal had to consider whether to grant leave to join an insurer under section 6 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1946 (NSW) (“LR(MP)A”).  One of the elements to be satisfied was whether there was an arguable case the insured defendant was …

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Joinder of insurers – Belcastro v Gabriel Nakhl

The potential savings in legal costs often warrant resisting the direct joinder of an insurer, notwithstanding the relatively low bar set by the authorities. In Belcastro v Gabriel Nakhl & Ors [2014] NSWSC 1305 the insurers had an added motive for resisting their joinder. The proposed pleading was ‘tortuous and prolix’ and made it impossible to …

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