Insurance Law



Insurance Law


Contact: Stephen White, Partner and Milton Latta, Senior Associate

It is often the case in multi-party litigation that one party will seek cover under another party’s insurance policy based on an insurance covenant contained in an agreement between the parties. Such claims are often contentious, due in part to the wide variations in drafting from one contract to another, and the consequential difficulty for the courts in setting down guiding principals for interpreting insurance covenants.

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Contact: Glenn Biggs, Partner

As many of Carter Newell’s heavy transport and logistics clients are well aware, the Heavy Vehicle National Law seeks to enforce a proactive sharing or ‘Chain of Responsibility’ approach to managing road risks, including fatigue management. Putting aside how one should assess the ‘reasonableness’ of their due diligence in ensuring safe transport, what is paramount is that parties beyond the transport operator (those parties with relevant control or influence) must ensure their contribution to the process is not in breach of applicable laws.

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Author: Rebecca Stevens, Partner and Allison Bailey, Senior Associate

An insurer has failed in its bid to decline cover based on an exclusion in its policy, with the ACT Court of Appeal hearing the matter of Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd v Smeaton regarding an injury caused by an unlicensed jet ski driver in 2010.

In April 2016, The Supreme Court of the ACT in Whittington v Smeaton held that Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd could not avoid covering the owner and driver of a jet ski under a Club Marine policy by relying on section 54(2) of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth).

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Author: Ben Hall, Special Counsel and Ryan Stehlik, Senior Associate 

Recovery claims under section 138 of the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) continue to be a cause of headache for general liability insurers. The Victorian WorkCover Authority frequently adopts an inflexible approach to the prosecution of such claims. No doubt this is partially informed by the quantification of the potential indemnity, using a methodology which is unique to Victoria, and clearly favourable to the VWA. oreover, it has been our experience that the VWA sometimes refuses to adopt a commercial approach to the resolution of claims, in circumstances where liability is in issue, thereby placing insurers and insureds in a difficult predicament.

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Author: Ben Hall, Special Counsel 

In April 2016 the Victorian Government introduced the Building Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Act 2016 (Vic), which has changed, and will continue to change, the domestic building regime in a number of important areas.

The Act is in response to the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report of May 2015 on Victoria’s Consumer Protection Framework for Building Construction, which was critical of inadequate protection for consumers.

To read the full article click here, or visit www.carternewell.com.