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1st July, 2021

Covid19 – Business Interruption Claims Update

In our last newsletter we provided an update on where the courts were at with determining decisions that could affect Business Interruption claims resulting from covid-19 losses.

We want to provide the most recent update in the ongoing narrative.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) had applied to appeal the NSW Court of Appeal test case judgement. The judgment of this test case had found that policy wordings which cited the now repealed Quarantine Act 1908 could not be used to exclude cover for covid-19 related Business Interruption claims. The High Court of Australia had initially agreed to hear oral arguments appealing the test case, however after a brief hearing on June 25th 2021 the application to appeal with denied.

While this provides some certainty regarding this matter, there are still other issues to be determined through a second test case which is to be heard later this year by the Federal Court of Australia. The other issues still be determined include the previously mentioned issues such as

  • The definition of “disease”
  • Proximity of an outbreak of covid19 to a business
  • Prevention of access to premises due to Government directive

Once again, we will keep you update of changes to the situation as more information is received.

Author: Murray Bruce