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Insurers lose COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Test Case


A significant development in the High Court of Australia has closed the door to one of the primary arguments raised by insurers to deny Business Interruption Claims made by thousands of hard-working business owners who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

Business interruption insurance court case: a win for business-owners

On 25th June 2021, the High Court refused to grant Special Leave to the first COVID-19 business interruption insurance test case run by insurer DI Global Speciality SE & Anor. The insurer sought to appeal the court's decision that Coronavirus is not a “quarantinable disease” under the Quarantine Act 1908. The High Court’s decision reconfirms Shine Lawyers’ position that this avenue of denial should not be available to Insurers. This is a large step towards thousands of Australian businesses being able to make a successful business interruption insurance claim without the insurers using the definition of “quarantinable disease” to deny their COVID-19-related claim.

Next steps for business owners with a second test case

For many businesses, there now remains only one hurdle to be addressed, and that is the hearing of the second “test case” which is scheduled to be heard by the Federal Court in late August 2021. This case will determine the meaning of policy wordings in relation to:

  • The definition of a disease
  • Proximity of an outbreak to businesses, and
  • The government mandate preventing access to businesses.

It has been estimated by the Insurance Council of Australia that 250,000 policyholders will have losses in excess of 10 billion dollars.

Was your COVID-19 business interruption insurance denied? Contact Shine Lawyers

If you, like thousands of other businesses throughout the pandemic had your business interruption claim rejected, you are encouraged to act now and seek expert advice on progressing your claim.

Our lawyers are experts in bringing justice when insurance companies wrongly decline business interruption claims. To determine whether we may be able to assist in pursuing your insurance claim, we have developed an obligation-free claim checker which takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

Alternatively, you can speak directly to a member of our team. It would be our privilege to stand up for you and help you to protect your rights.

Free Business Interruption Insurance Claim Checker

Complete our free COVID-19 BI Insurance Claim Checker to find out whether or not Shine Lawyers may be able to assist with a claim against your insurer arising from losses caused by COVID-19.

The Claim Checker will load in a pop out window and will take no more than 3 minutes to complete.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: June 29, 2021.

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