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Full Court appeals lodged on five BI test case claims

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Appeals have been filed for five of the disputes heard by the Federal Court in the second test case over business interruption pandemic cover, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said today.

Policyholders have filed appeals to the Full Court and insurers have lodged cross-appeals and notices of contention as a result of “a number of issues arising” from the judgment handed down this month, ICA says.

Five other claims decided in the test case, involving Chubb, Allianz and Guild, are not being appealed, it says.

The Full Court has listed the appeal from November 8, setting aside seven days for arguments to be presented.

“We are grateful to the court for expediting this matter so a determination can be reached as soon as possible,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall said.

A dispute involving The Star Entertainment Group, which has already appealed an August judgment in favour of Chubb and other insurers over business interruption cover during the pandemic, is expected to be heard by the Full Court at the same time.

Federal Court Justice Jayne Jagot delivered a judgment on October 8 that upheld insurer arguments in nine of the ten test cases.

In the remaining matter involving IAG and a Melbourne travel agent, the court found cover had been triggered, but there were substantial issues as to whether the policyholder could prove a relevant interruption as impacts were mostly caused by cruise ship and overseas travel bans.

Other insurers involved in the test case hearings included QBE and Swiss Re.

“Insurers, including those not directly involved in the court proceedings, have committed to applying the reasoning of the final judgments of the test cases in an efficient, transparent, and consistent way when assessing claims,” Mr Hall said.