27 Oct 2021
Business Interruption test cases update for our SME customers

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

On 8 October 2021, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its judgment in the second test cases in relation to COVID-19 Business Interruption claims, which found largely in favour of insurers, including QBE, in respect of coverage triggers and adjustments for payments such as JobKeeper.

Notices of Appeal have now been filed by five out of the 10 insureds, including the QBE insured, participating as part of the second industry test cases. A range of other legal notices have also been filed by both insurers and insureds The appeals are listed to be heard from 8 November 2021.

Timeline and importance of the test cases

The second test cases judgment is an important milestone for customers as it provides clarity on the process and pathway to resolve business interruption claims. It’s anticipated that judgment on any appeal will be delivered by the Full Federal Court in December 2021.

We’re committed to following the rulings of the Court once the test cases are fully concluded and will proactively review all claims in line with the final judgment. We are well positioned to efficiently assess claims, including reassessing previously submitted claims, and our specialised claims teams will be ready to support customers through the process.

Thank you for your patience

Thank you for your patience as we work through claims decisions. The test cases aim to deliver much needed clarity for customers on these issues. Once the final judgment is received, we will quickly reassess existing claims, assess new claims and finalise all claims so that customers and the industry can move forward. More information is available from the Insurance Council of Australia website.

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

QBE SME customers with Business Interruption cover are encouraged to 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.

It’s important to note that claims can’t be finalised until a final judgment in the Business Interruption test case is handed down by the Full Federal Court, which is anticipated to happen in December 2021.

Our specialised claims team is ready to use the Court’s final ruling, anticipated in December 2021, in a simplified and technology assisted claims assessment process.

We encourage all customers to collate and retain financial records in relation to COVID-19 related business losses to facilitate the speedy resolution of claims following the Court’s final ruling.