Insurance Review (Australia) - February 2015

by DLA Piper

In This Issue:


- The Financial System Inquiry

- Insurance Reform In The UK


- Top Five Privacy And Cyber Predictions, Trends And Issues Impacting Insurers In 2015 And Beyond

- D&O:

- Directors And Officers Recent Developments


- In Conversation With Michael Gill


- Claims Against Lawyers

- Broker Claims

- Solicitors’ Duties To Third Parties – Recent Developments


- Medical Indemnity – Claim Trends

- Medical Negligence Recent Cases


- Policy Interpretation

- Section 54

- Trans-Tasman Divergence On The Territorial Application Of Statutory Charges Over Insurance Policies


- Fraud In Marine Insurance Claims


- High Court Clarified Duties To Subsequent Purchasers – Brookfield Multiplex V Owners Corporation

- Project Specific Professional Indemnity Policies


- 2014 – Recent Developments In Defamation


- Play Smart, Not Hard


- Privilege Issues For Insurers And Insureds

- Class Actions – 2014 Action


- Climate Change Induced Extreme Weather Events

- Excerpt from Forward:

...2014 was a relatively stable year for the insurance industry in both the financial and regulatory spheres. Total industry net profit and investment income remained at 2013 levels. As usual, the devil is in the detail. In fact, gross incurred claims for long tail classes were up 25.3 percent from the previous year – but this was primarily due to the decrease in government bond yields rather than any inherent problems in the industry.

As for regulation, insurers can understandably suffer occasionally from compliance fatigue after the constant regulatory changes over the past 10 to 15 years. So it was with a sigh of relief when we read the Financial System Inquiry, delivered to the Treasurer on 7 December 2014, concluded that there was not a “compelling case” for further changes to the “stability settings” in insurance at this time. Sophie Devitt discusses the report on page 5. Sophie and her team also look at the long awaited insurance reforms in the UK, see page 9. The Bill was introduced to parliament in 2014 and if it is adopted, many of the features of Australian insurance law, enshrined in the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (ICA), will be UK law. However the bill falls short of adopting all of the consumer protections contained in the ICA.

If you only read one article in Insurance Review 2015, read Alec Christie’s predictions on privacy and cyber – if you “get creepy” this year, don’t blame us!

Insurers, as ever, have been keeping Australian courts busy over the past year. Carmen Elder reports on some interesting judicial decisions on broker’s negligence, which provide some guidance on the scope of a broker’s duty of care. See page 23.

Australian lawyers continue to enjoy protection from professional negligence claims thanks to advocates’ immunity. There has been a flurry of cases concerning negligent advice on prospects and settlement going to trial. In the past, these cases tended to be settled. Proportionate liability and causation also continue to limit the exposure of insurers. These topics are addressed in pages 21 – 26.

The High Court decision of Brookfield confined the scope of the duty of care to subsequent owners of, in this case, a commercial building. However, as an apartment building can be a commercial building, the decision was the cause of much consumer complaint at the time, with calls for legislative reform. For further discussion, see David Leggatt and James Baird’s article on 39.

Please see full publication below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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