Since the initial Business Interruption Test Case heard late last year by the NSW Court of Appeal, there have been significant developments, including an application for special leave to appeal which is currently before the High Court of Australia and the launch of a second test case.
To keep businesses informed, Tim Scott-Young, National Manager, Claims Operations – Marsh and Luke Stratford, Head of Claims Solutions – Marsh recently hosted a ‘Business Interruption Test Case Update’ webinar. This session was held in collaboration with Sophy Woodward, Special Counsel and Richard Jowett, Partner from HFW and aimed to unpack exactly what these developments may mean for businesses who have experienced business interruption losses resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. Our specialists have also outlined the key insights from the session below.
Initial Business Interruption Test Case Update
The initial business interruption test case focused specifically on the application of a common insurance policy exclusion relating to the repealed Quarantine Act 1908. In a unanimous decision, the NSW Court of Appeal found in favour of policy holders and held that this exclusion did not apply to listed human diseases under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth). This meant that policyholders have one less hurdle to overcome when presenting their business interruption claim.
Following this decision, an application was lodged with the High Court of Australia for special leave to appeal the judgement of the NSW Court of Appeal.
Second Business Interruption Test Case
There are also many other considerations relating to the interpretation of business interruption policies. As a result, insurers have commenced proceedings in a second test case in the Federal Court of Australia. This will determine the meaning of various policy wordings, particularly those that relate to an outbreak of disease within a particular proximity to a business and prevention of access to premises due to a government mandate.
View the Replay
To understand what the business interruption test case appeal and second test case mean for Australian businesses in greater detail, the replay from our ‘Business Interruption Test Case Update’ webinar has been made available for viewing. Our presenters provide:
COVID-19 Business Interruption Test Case Update
If you have any questions regarding the developments of the business interruption test cases in Australia, or would like to make a claim, please contact our Claims team here.
Please note: The content of this webpage and the webinar including any recommendations, analysis or advice (collectively, the ‘Analysis’) is general in nature, is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Specific advice about your particular circumstances should be sought before taking any action. Any projections are subject to inherent uncertainty, and the Analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information, or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. The information contained therein is based on sources we believe reliable, but we make no representation or warranty as to its accuracy. Except as may be set forth in an agreement between you and Marsh, Marsh shall have no obligation to update the Analysis and shall have no liability to you or any other party with regard to the Analysis. LCPA No. 21/098.