On Wednesday 18 November the NSW Court of Appeal handed down a unanimous decision in a case launched by the Insurance Council of Australia concerning the application of Business Interruption (BI) claims related to two test cases, where business operations were affected by COVID-19 and their policy coverage denied.
The Court ruled that COVID-19 is not a disease “declared to be a quarantinable disease under the Quarantine Act 1908 and subsequent amendments … and accordingly, was not excluded from the disease benefit clauses”.
This ruling means that policies containing an exclusion that referenced the Quarantine Act could not limit or exclude otherwise valid claims. As such, policies that only included reference to this specific Act should now allow claims to proceed.
While this decision is a welcome one for policyholders as it removes a major hurdle to proceeding with claims, there are some additional considerations that must be taken into account which include:
- The Court’s decision may be appealed and insurers have up to 28 days to make such application to the High Court;
- Policies also contain other triggers that need to be met as to determine a valid claim. These include the location and/or proximity of a business premises to an outbreak of COVID-19;
- BI claims are subject to adjustment to determine if turnover has reduced and/or business expense savings have been made, i.e. there needs to be quantifiable loss;
- The calculation of the above point – considering both Federal and State Government incentives – to boost cashflow and keep as many businesses operating as possible.
As each claims matter will be specific to your individual circumstances, we recommend that clients contact us to discuss your policy coverage details and next steps in the claims process.
Proposals for public and products liability insurance often ask whether the potential insured has assumed any obligations under contracts or agreements, including through hold harmless or indemnification agreements.
Unfortunately, all too many times people have indemnities or hold harmless agreements in their existing contracts and may be completely unaware. This, in turn, can expose you and your business to unintended risks or gaps in your insurance solution.
At Acacia Insurance, we're able to review contracts and advise our clients on the insurance ramifications. This is a point of difference that we pride ourselves on, and the service has helped many of our clients reduce their risk exposures. Contact us to find out more or read on to learn more about this risk.
The Acacia Insurance team thoroughly enjoyed participating in and sponsoring our charity insurance client KidzWish's golf day, which raised $25,000! The event was held on 9 Oct at The Links Golf Course, Shell Cove.
Construction as an industry is the third largest employer in Australia, which is going to be incredibly important as we fight the loss of jobs and damage to our economy caused by the global pandemic. It is also one of the most heavily regulated and riskiest industries to work for, making the right construction insurance critical.
As a valued client I thought you may like to receive a summary of our market assessment on what’s currently impacting insurance pricing in the Australian market. The recently released APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) June 2020 quarterly report showed insurance company profitability continuing to decrease.
Not-for-profit organisations carry unique yet significant risks, making it critical to get the right insurance cover. At Acacia Insurance, we know how difficult it can be to get the right insurance solution to meet the needs of your not-for-profit or charity organisation. That’s why we take the time to really get to know you and leverage our industry expertise and experience to help you protect the important work that you do.
On top of the considerations you have already made regarding your business and insurance due to the implications of COVID-19, now unfortunately you have increasing cyber risk to manage as well.
Cyber attacks have always been intentionally engineered to prey on people’s fears, concerns, and ultimately, their bank accounts. In the wake of the COVID-19 era, attacks remain as malicious as ever, with themed tactics tailored to the worries of today’s society. 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses, taking various forms such as web-based attacks, phishing attacks and malicious codes. It's a disappointing reality that there are those who would take advantage of people during a global pandemic, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to protect yourself and your business.
While Australia has been relatively protected from the spread of Corona Virus (COVID 19) many businesses have been disrupted due to social distancing requirements, travel, import and or export restrictions.
In response to some frequently asked questions we've received from clients, we wanted to help clarify how insurance responds (and in some cases doesn't respond) in the pandemic environment, as well as provide some resources and risk management considerations.
Acacia Insurance is part of the Insurance Advisernet network, and we're so pleased to note that the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) has named Insurance Advisernet as the Authorised Representative Network of the Year for 2018!
Acacia Insurance is pleased to note that our Director, Martin van Rhoon, was recently interviewed for an Insurance Adviser magazine feature on not-for-profit insurance. In particular, van Rhoon highlighted that more than half of non-profit organisations do not have a risk management plan in place, and even fewer have a risk register.