Insurance Law

Insurance Law

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.

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Contact: Mark Brookes, Partner and Tom Pepper, Solicitor 

In modern commerce, customers often negotiate policies of insurance directly with insurers over the internet rather than with traditional methods such as over the phone, or through an insurance broker.

While online applications provide an efficient and convenient arrangement for the insurer and customer, insurers should give careful consideration to the form of the application (including any questions posed in the application) bearing in mind that closed questions may have consequences in regard to the insured’s pre-contractual duty of disclosure.

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Carter Newell Lawyers officially launched the Australian Civil Liability Guide 10th edition on 24 November 2016.

The 10th edition marks a significant milestone for Carter Newell, with this Guide being the only publication of its type released in Australia which provides a comprehensive overview of the maze of legislation and case law relevant to civil liability federally and in all Australian States and Territories. The 10th edition continues the tradition of providing relevant and informative reference materials to the firm’s clients, and the insurance and legal industries.

Read more: Carter Newell launches Australian Civil Liability Guide 10th edition