Business Interruption test cases update for our SME customers

This article was originally published on 13 October 2021 and has been updated.

Update on the Business Interruption test case

The High Court recently decided to refuse special leave to appeal the judgment of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia on the interpretation of policy wordings in business interruption policies.

This means that the second test case process concerning COVID-19 related business interruption is finished and the principles set out in the judgment of the Full Court of the Federal Court will apply to the assessment of COVID-19 related claims under business interruption policies.

The Full Federal Court judgement found that in 4 of the 5 claims considered cover was not triggered as the link between an outbreak, government orders or business losses required by the policy wordings was not established. As such, insurers were not liable to indemnify policyholders.

In the other case, the Full Court found that cover was triggered but that it could not be concluded that the policyholder loss was caused by the relevant outbreak of disease. The policyholder in this case is entitled to return to Federal Court.

A full copy of the Full Court judgment and a summary is available on the Insurance Council of Australia website.

We recognise this has been a difficult time for our small business customers and we thank them for their continued patience.

We’re committed to following the rulings of the Full Court and we’ve taken steps to ensure claims are assessed and finalised as quickly as possible.

Brokers can lodge a claim at any time on behalf of customers who hold QBE Business Interruption cover and believe they have incurred COVID-19 related losses.

How to lodge a new COVID-19 related Business Interruption claim

QBE SME customers with Business Interruption cover can lodge a COVID-19 Business Interruption claim at any time. Please contact your broker who will do this on your behalf and can answer any questions.