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Transport operators and storage facilities face increased liability under recent Australian Consumer Law Amendments

Amendments to the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”), which is a schedule to the Commonwealth Competition and Consumer Act 2010, passed by the Commonwealth Parliament on 18 October 2018 are likely to increase the exposure of domestic land transport and storage facility operators for goods damaged during transportation or storage.  
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Be the Change You Seek – Your Essential Guide to the 2018 Review of the General Insurance Code of Practice Final Report

On 26 June 2018, the Insurance Council of Australia (“ICA”) released its Review of the General Insurance Code of Practice final report (“the Final Report”).
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Water tight? The Queensland District Court considers the effect of a flood exclusion clause

The Queensland District Court recently considered the effect of a ‘flood exclusion clause’ arising out of the 2011 Brisbane floods.
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Claims directly against third party insurers – the application of the “leave” requirement tested

The Courts continue to be presented with opportunities to consider and apply the relatively new and importantCivil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017 (NSW).
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Life or Death and a claim for privilege

The District Court of NSW was recently required to consider issues in relation to whether various documents relating to a factual investigation were privileged and if so, whether there had been a waiver of privilege as a result of an inadvertent disclosure of the documents.
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Court denies defendants’ application to interrogate on alcohol consumption

Catastrophic spinal injuries were suffered when the plaintiff fell off a balcony of rental accommodation in June 2012 due to a faulty railing.
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The duty of good faith and personal injury – a relationship considered

The Court of Appeal recently considered whether an insurer breached its duty of utmost good faith, and whether a man’s personal injuries were compensable as a result.
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Phantom of the Opera

Insurers are sometimes encouraged to refuse claims when an insured gives false answers to an investigator.  Great care needs to be taken to look at the answers in the context of all the evidence.  Proving that the answers are false is not sufficient.  It has to be proved that the answers are knowingly false and made to induce payment.  This is not an easy burden.  The insurer need to ask itself, among other things: are the answers in fact false;  is there an interpretation to the answers which may favour the insured;  even if the answer is false, could the insured be given the benefit of the doubt by finding that the insured was merely mistaken;  has the insured otherwise acted in a fashion more consistent with honesty (e.g. as in the following case, giving the insurer, by means of authorities etc, access to the accurate information despite the insured’s answer being wrong).
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Any Interest in Determining Costs Orders?

In Averkin v Insurance Australia Limited (No 2) [2016] NSWCA 150, the NSW Court of Appeal determined costs issues arising from an insured’s successful appeal against a District Court decision which had found that an insured’s claim with respect to a $38,870 agreed value motor vehicle policy was fraudulent.
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Primacy of Primary Insuring Clause

Schmidt J of the NSW Supreme Court has reminded us of the importance of examining the terms of the primary insuring provisions of policies in determining whether they respond.  This examination includes a requirement that the policy be interpreted to give it a business like interpretation.
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Brothels, Bikies and Non-Disclosure

In the recent case of Stealth Enterprises Pty Ltd t/as The Gentleman’s Club v Calliden Insurance Limited [2015] NSWSC 1270, the New South Wales Supreme Court found that the insured company (Stealth), which operated a brothel in the ACT known as “The Gentleman’s Club”, had breached its statutory duty of disclosure by failing to disclose to its insurer (Calliden).
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Limitation period changes for child abuse actions may lead to spike in claims

In New South Wales (NSW) there is no longer any limitation period for past, present or future child abuse actions.

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