On June 25, 2021, the High Court of Australia denied the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) special leave to appeal the ruling by the NSW Court of Appeal that insurers could not rely on exclusion wordings citing the Quarantine Act and subsequent amendments to deny claims for COVID-19 related disruptions.
In a statement the ICA acknowledges the High Court’s decision to deny special leave to appeal. “While we are disappointed, this decision on the first test case provides us with certainty and allows the industry to focus on the issues to be resolved through the second test case underway in the Federal Court of Australia,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall said.
There is a second test case yet to be determined through the Federal Court of Australia. The second test case is expected to be heard in September, with any appeal likely to be considered in November.
What does this mean for small businesses?
As today marks Day-1 of the state’s third lockdown this year, small businesses will suffer a significant loss of earnings, at least in the short term. In a statement by CCIQ’s CEO Stephen Tait, small businesses will lose anywhere between $12,000.00 – $58,000.00 from these lockdowns. CCIQ is urging the Government to act now – to support Queensland businesses to avert the long-term effects of COVID restrictions and lockdowns. You can read more about their petition for a COVID-19 Hotspot Recovery Package to support small businesses here.
How can we help?
While many claims will need to wait until the outcome of the second test case, lodging a claim now means that once that outcome is known you can expect a resolution to take place quickly, and as such, you should start the process now.
Consult an experienced and trusted lawyer to review your policy and begin the lodgement process.
If your business has been forced into lockdown and you are incurring wastage and increasing losses, contact one of our trusted lawyers now on (07) 3088 7973 for a FREE initial case assessment.