We thank our business customers for their understanding and patience during the general insurance industry Business Interruption test case process. The test cases were an important step in clarifying how business interruption policy wordings were to be interpreted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The courts have now finalised the test case process and the outcomes can now be applied in determining COVID-19 pandemic business interruption claims.
There have been two test cases in relation to business interruption cover and COVID-19 impacts that now have a final outcome. The outcome of these test cases may impact your entitlement to cover under a business interruption policy.
- The first test case determined that certain policy exclusions that referred to a disease declared to be a quarantinable disease under the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth) could not be applied to claims relating to COVID-19.
- The second test case determined various issues relevant to business interruption cover, providing clarity on to the interpretation of business interruption policy wordings. The court determined that in all but one case the policyholders were not entitled to cover under their policies. In the remaining case, the court found that the policyholder may be entitled to cover under the particular terms of their policy. As a result, certain policyholders may be entitled to cover depending on the particular terms of their policy and the facts and circumstances of their claim.
- In the second test case, the court also determined that a disease exclusion clause that referred to a disease declared to be a ‘listed human disease’ under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) applies to exclude cover for COVID-19.
Further information in relation to the test cases is available on the Insurance Council of Australia’s website.
Your entitlement to cover will depend on the particular terms of your policy wording and the individual facts and circumstances of any loss you may have suffered.
If your business has been affected by COVID-19 and you have business interruption cover, you can talk to us about making a claim on 13 19 03 or contact your broker.
If you have already lodged a claim under your business interruption policy for COVID-19 impacts we will contact you separately in relation to this claim.