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NIBA plays a straight bat on BI wordings issue

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The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) says intermediaries should assess individual policy wordings before advising clients on business interruption claims – and adds that “the last thing brokers want to see is an unstable insurance sector”.

As insuranceNEWS.com.au has previously reported, some insurers’ business policies still contain outdated exclusions referring to the Quarantine Act 1908, which was repealed and replaced by the Biosecurity Act almost five years ago.

Insurers say the intent is clear and the exclusions will hold up, but some law firms are advising that the impact of COVID-19 is covered in some cases, and insureds should fight for a payout.

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth told insuranceNEWS.com.au today that brokers always act in the best interests of their clients, and that if they believe there is potential for a claim to be paid they will advise that a claim is warranted.

However, he says senior brokers “recognise the purpose of pandemic exclusions” and understand the potential impact on insurers of paying out coronavirus-related business interruption claims regardless.

“If the insurance industry is under major threat then that doesn’t help anyone,” he said.

Mr Booth says NIBA “does not have a view” on the Quarantine Act issue, because policy wordings vary widely.

“It depends on the wording of the contract,” he said.