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Rejected Coronavirus business interruption insurance claims

Business insurance

If your business was forced to close as a result of the government’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and your insurer has rejected your business interruption insurance claim, you may still have a claim against your insurer.

Current status 

On Monday the 21st of February 2022, the Federal Court handed down the latest decision in the acceptance of Business Interruption insurance claims made following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This latest decision has given hope to those policyholders who are entitled to claim Government stimulus grants such as JobKeeper which is now not considered 'savings' to the business. Some policy holders could now also benefit in relation to a calculation of interest. 

The decision was based on rejecting the notion that "quarantinable diseases under the Quarantine Act 1908 and subsequent amendments" was to be interpreted as a reference to ‘human diseases’ under the Biosecurity Act. 

It is important to note there are still cases before the courts and the claims that are being examined through the test case process will continue. 

If your business interruption claim has been rejected and you are unsure about the wording your insurance policy currently contains, get in touch today and let our legal experts guide you. 

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted thousands of Australian businesses, many of whom were forced to cease their operations causing significant financial and emotional strain. 

Despite these businesses holding business interruption insurance, many insurers are leading their customers to believe their policy excludes cover for losses suffered as a result of Coronavirus / COVID-19, on the basis that Coronavirus / COVID-19 is a “quarantinable disease” under the “Quarantine Act 1908” and is therefore excluded under the policy. Learn more about the Quarantine Act 1908 below. 

In a unanimous 5-0 decision by the New South Wales Court of Appeal delivered on 18 November 2020, the Court confirmed Shine’s view that COVID-19 / Coronavirus is not a “quarantinable disease” under the Quarantine Act 1908 under these policies. 

The insurer sought to appeal the court's decision, but a final decision was made by the High Court on 25th June 2021 against the insurer. This is a very substantial development for businesses who have suffered significant losses as a result of government shut-downs from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you believe your insurer has wrongly denied a claim under a business interruption insurance policy, or if you want to know whether you may have cover for losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, complete our free claim-checker or contact us for an obligation-free discussion. 

Insurance Litigation Experts 

Insurance companies can go to great lengths to avoid paying out clients covered under their policy when things go wrong. Our lawyers are experts in bringing justice when insurance companies wrongly decline claims. 

The history of the Quarantine Act 1908 

The Quarantine Act 1908 was repealed with the introduction of the Biosecurity Act 2015, and accordingly Coronavirus / COVID-19 is not, and can never be, a “quarantinable disease” under the “Quarantine Act 1908”. 

The Biosecurity Act 2015 contains a concept similar to the concept of “quarantinable disease”, namely “listed human disease”, and Coronavirus / COVID-19 is a “listed human disease” under the Biosecurity Act 2015. 

However, insurers are saying that despite the clear wording in the policy, the reference in policies to “quarantinable disease” under the “Quarantine Act 1908” should be read as “listed human disease” under the “Biosecurity Act 2015”. 

Shine Lawyers view is that insurers should be paying these claims because Coronavirus / COVID-19 is not a “quarantinable disease” under the Quarantine Act 1908 and is committed to helping clients to pursue these claims. 

Do you have a case?

We’re here to make the legal process as simple and stress-free as possible.

How Shine can help

We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion per year in entitlements and compensation through our expert services.  

95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court. 

With our 1000+ workforce and business maturity, we have the scale, expertise and agility to take on the tough cases and win. 

We are ready to take action to help you access your entitlements when your insurer has undervalued or denied your claim, and right wrong. 

Business insurance FAQs

Where are the business interruption insurance lawyers from Shine located?

Access to justice is important to us, and when it comes to Shine, location is no barrier. We can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual or over the phone appointment. No matter where you are located, we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

Can I represent myself, or do I need a business interruption insurance claim lawyer?

It is possible to legally represent yourself when making a claim however, doing so successfully will likely require a thorough understanding of the law, your legal rights and entitlements, and a commitment to actively pursue the case to move it forward.  Most people choose not to act for themselves and instead engage a business insurance lawyer who is an expert in their field and can provide the knowledge and experience required to help guide a case to a successful outcome.

Why trust Shine to be my business insurance lawyers?

At Shine Lawyers, we put your first. We’ve been standing up for the rights of everyday Australians for over 45 years. As one of Australia’s largest litigation law firms, we are here to help you get the justice you deserve. 

Our empathy, understanding and expertise is why we’re ahead of the pack. We’ll stand with you and guide you through every step of the way.

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