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Terrorism acts threaten Australians’ insurance payouts

Shine Lawyers’ Disaster Insurance Recovery law team has issued a warning to businesses and homeowners to ensure their insurance policies offer adequate protection should an act of terrorism damage their property or business.

This week, Sydney retailers whose earnings decreased by up to 70 per cent during the Martin Place siege were warned that their insurance payouts could be slashed should the Australian Treasurer declare the siege an act of terrorism.

Shine Lawyers has called on the government to support property and business owners by filling any financial gap caused by this decision. The firm has also called on the NSW and Federal Governments to underwrite the losses experienced by those businesses affected by the siege.

Following this news, Shine Lawyers Disaster Insurance Recovery solicitor George Newhouse has urged business and property owners across Australia to look closely at their insurance policies.

“Most insurance policies contain clauses that exclude damage caused by acts of terrorism, including any action designed to influence government that involves violence or the damage of property,” Mr Newhouse said.

“This damage can also include profit losses associated with disruption to businesses,” he said.

Mr Newhouse said that owners must continuously check the wording of their policies to understand the limits of their cover, the exclusions under their policy and any dollar caps that apply.

“Tenants, property and business owners should check to see whether they are covered,” he said. “If they’re not, they should enquire about the costs of covering the gap.”

If you are a property or business owner and are unsure about the extent of your insurance cover, contact the Disaster Insurance Recovery team who can help you understand your rights and entitlements.


Written by George Newhouse

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: January 6, 2015.

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