Background and Information on the Test Cases
For an update on the outcome of the appeals in the second Business Interruption test case please read the latest ICA Media Release.
For detailed information on both test cases, we refer you to the ICA website and their FAQ’s.
What this means for businesses that need to make a claim?
In the event of a Business Interruption claim, we encourage policyholders to lodge a claim. Business Interruption policyholders can lodge a claim at any time and Hollard is committed to assessing these claims efficiently.
You will need to lodge your claim through BizCover (the administrator of RelyOn Insurance) by downloading the claim form and sending your completed form to email@example.com.
Support and Resources available
CLICK HERE to download our Business Interruption Financial Calculation Guide
This will help explain the financial calculations and requirements to assess a Business Interruption claim resulting from the impact of COVID-19.
CLICK HERE to download a Business Interruption Required Documents List
A reference list to help identify the documents we need you to gather as evidence of the Business Interruption loss being claimed.
CLICK HERE to download the Business Interruption Claim Form
Download the Business Interruption Claim Form. Once complete, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What was the outcome of the first test case?
In November 2020 the NSW Court of Appeal found against the arguments of insurers and declared that COVID-19 is not a quarantinable disease as defined in the Quarantine Act 1908, and so the exclusion in the Disease Cover of policies is not enlivened. An application to appeal that decision was rejected by the High Court in mid 2021 and so the NSW Court of Appeal ruling on that issue stands.
Why was there a second test case?
It is important to note that claims will still turn on individual circumstances and business interruption cover under many of the policies in the market still need other triggers to be satisfied. A number of these triggers and the legal principles underpinning them have therefore been examined by the Federal Court as part of the second industry test which was heard in September 2021.
The second test case considered a number of issues including:
• the meaning of policy wording triggers in relation to a disease such as the definition of an ‘outbreak’ of a disease ‘occurring’ within a particular geographical radius of the relevant location,
• what amounts to ‘preventing or restricting access to’ the premises
• relevant causation principles that apply in relation to such clauses; and
• other important elements in quantifying whether business interruption loss such as the scope of any trends and adjustments to be applied.
The reasons of judgment of the Federal Court were delivered on 8 October 2021 and those reasons were significantly upheld by the Full Federal Court in its judgment delivered in February 2022.
• Applications for special leave to appeal to the High Court (2 made by policyholder and 1 by an insurer) were heard by the High Court on 14 October 2022 when the Court refused all three applications. The High Court’s decision means that the judgment of the Full Federal Court will stand as the primary authority for the matters determined in the second test case and insurers can now apply the reasoning in that decision in assessing BI claims.
Further information on the second test case can be found on the ICA website.
What information do Hollard need if you wish to submit a claim?
If you want to submit a claim, please download the Business Interruption Required Documents List. This list outlines the documents we need you to gather as evidence of the Business Interruption loss being claimed.
How is a financial loss calculated?
Each claim is reviewed based on its individual circumstances. The Business Interruption Financial Guide offers guidance on how Business Interruption claims are generally calculated and what Hollard will take into consideration when calculating Business Interruption claims.
Will policyholders’ future premiums be impacted by submitting a Business Interruption COVID-19 claim?
No, for Hollard policyholders’ we can confirm that future premiums will not be impacted by Business Interruption COVID-19 claims being lodged, denied, or paid.
Can I still approach AFCA to resolve a complaint if I am dissatisfied?
Yes, your rights to lodge a complaint with AFCA are not affected.
Hollard encourages you to look at AFCA’s website which includes all necessary information about the complaints process.
AFCA has also published information for small businesses about the BI test cases here.
Does Hollard’s support for vulnerable customers apply to COVID-19 related claims?
Throughout the pandemic Hollard has provided a range of relief to our customers and partners. Click here to visit their website for more details.
In addition, their website includes further information regarding support for vulnerable customers and financial hardship. Customers are encouraged to inform our claims department in the event of a vulnerability.