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Since the amendments relating to the duty of utmost good faith only apply to contracts of insurance entered into or renewed after 28 Junethey were not strictly relevant to this dispute and so the Court’s pronouncements on their relevance are strictly non-binding.
It is one of the first decisions to consider the impact of the amendments to the Act made by the Insurance Contracts Amendment Act Cth. The decision is one of the first reported cases to consider the amendments to the Insurance Contracts Act Cth.
Accidental Damage Home Insurance
This decision confirms that damage which occurs as a result of a known risk is, depending on the terms of the relevant policy, unlikely to be regarded as accidental damage. Nevertheless, they do provide useful guidance on how a court may interpret acicdental impact on any alleged breaches of duty under policies to which they do apply.
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The cause of the damage to a large Telescopic Crawler Crane Crane was in dispute, in particular, whether the damage was “accidental, sudden and unforeseen”. It also demonstrates the importance of evidence, including expert, photographic and eye-witness evidence, when making a decision to refuse cover under a policy.
Accidental Damage Home Insurance | CGU Insurance
It argued that CGU’s failure to indemnify amounted to a breach of this implied term and, as such, CGU was liable for damages for all causally connected loss, including default interest on the finance of the Crane. Based on this, the Court concluded that the refusal of cover by CGU did not constitute any breach of its duty of utmost good faith.
In this case, the evidence allowed the insurer to successfully accidenttal proceedings alleging not only wrongful declinature, but also allegations that cyu had breached its duty of utmost good faith. Matton also submitted that CGU had breached its duty of utmost good faith by relying on conclusions drawn by its own experts, rather than giving due consideration to the insured’s witnesses who gave evidence that the Crane was being operated on level ground prior to collapse.
‘Accidental Damage’ – Matton Developments v CGU Insurance Limited (No 2)
This was considered the most logical explanation particularly in light of photographs taken after the incident which suggested that the Crane had been operated on a slope. Stay Damave subscribe now. The Court considered it significant that the operator was aware that operating the Crane on a slope would create a real risk of the boom collapsing, and cgh he proceeded despite this knowledge.
It held that an insurer was not obliged to accept the statement of the operator or even an insured, since they may be honestly mistaken. It also argued that section 13 gave rise to a statutory duty, the breach of which also gave rise to famage entitlement to damages. The decision demonstrates the importance of forensic and eyewitness evidence in challenges to an insurer’s decision to refuse cover.
In the circumstances, the Court held that section 13 does not support the existence of a concurrent liability in tort, either by way of breach of a statutory duty or a tort of bad faith. The Court accepted that CGU’s decision to decline the claim was made after careful consideration of the available evidence, including the lay evidence.
The decision is also useful for its comprehensive review of the Australian law relating to the duty of utmost good faith. Cyu responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted. Matton relied on the duty of utmost good faith implied by section 13 of the Insurance Contracts Act Cth Act into contracts of insurance.
Matton submitted a claim to CGU seeking indemnity for damage to the Crane in February when its boom collapsed while lifting concrete slabs.
It also considered the recent amendments to the Act, which deem a breach of the duty of utmost good faith to be acciedntal breach of the Act. The Court undertook a detailed examination of the authorities on section 13 and confirmed that it was enacted to clarify that the duty of utmost good faith applied to both the insured and insurer and that it provided a basis for either party to seek contractual damages for its breach.