A great deal of insurance case law emerges from disputes involving property claims. We believe that the lawyers in our Insurance team should be experienced in managing these types of disputes.
Due to our expertise in this area, a number of key local and overseas insurers retain us to manage their first-party property claims on a regular basis. They know that we can handle complex, strategic and important first-party property matters, especially those involving coverage issues, fraud or catastrophic weather events.
On a daily basis we advise insurers on a broad range of industrial special risks (ISR), contract works, contract all risks (CAR) and other property policies.
Furthermore, we can assist our clients to manage their relationships with their insureds, whether they are multinational corporations, public entities, small-to-medium enterprises, not-for-profits, or other organisations with property exposures.
- OUR EXPERTISE
We understand coverage issues
We regularly advise clients on coverage issues, including:
- Scope of cover
- Proximate cause
- Basis-of-settlement issues
- Insurable interest
- Rectification versus indemnity
- Entitlement to progress payments
- Issues of reasonableness
- Business interruption issues
- Application of average
- Operation of sub-limits
- Property and peril exclusions
- Breach of policy conditions and other disentitling behaviour arising out of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)
- Dual insurance
- Waiver of subrogation.
Over the years, we have gained extensive experience of advising insurers on policy matters. This may involve investigating issues such as fraud, arson, deliberate acts, non-cooperation by the insured, and insurers’ adherence to underwriting guidelines.
Our team brings highly developed analytical skills to this kind of work, as well as a forensic attention to detail.
We are adept at handling claims involving multi-million dollar losses
We regularly advise on claims where there have been multi-million dollar losses concerning real property from insured events including fire, explosion and/or natural disasters such as cyclones and floods.
We are skilled at managing claims following a catastrophe
We are experienced in managing claims involving significant losses following a catastrophe such as a flood or a cyclone.
These types of claims often involve running multiple claims simultaneously, and may be media sensitive when they involve good-faith expectations. This means we ensure our lawyers have highly developed client and media management skills.
We understand the mining, construction and infrastructure industries
First-party property claims are common in the mining, construction and infrastructure industries.
Our lawyers have extensive experience advising on claims arising out of these sectors. They often assist with claims that involve:
- Complex coverage issues
- Machinery failure or misuse
- Cause of loss concerns
- Questions regarding business interruption.
- OUR APPROACH
Our lawyers are respected for regularly securing sensible early resolutions. In order to achieve this goal, we use five key strategies.
- We employ file management strategies that help reduce your legal spend and exposure.
- We use the techniques of alternative dispute resolution, including settlement conferences, mediation or expert appraisal by counsel, forensic accountants or other experts to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
- We understand that high-volume, straightforward householder property claims need to be managed differently from media-sensitive high-value, complex property claims.
- We’re skilled at managing the interests of all stakeholders in a claim – the insured, the broker, the insurer and any other interested parties. We have the experience to formulate agreements that accommodate the interests of all parties to a claim.
- Finally and most importantly, we develop the best possible claims resolution strategy depending on the complexity, size and profile of the claim you are facing.
- INDUSTRY RECOGNITION
Rhett Kennedy leads our first-party property claims team as was listed as 'Insurance Lawyer of the Year' for Brisbane in the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers.
Peter Murdoch, Fiona Sennett, Andrew Hilditch, Michael Fotheringham and Toby Barrie are all listed in Best Lawyers for their expertise in Insurance Law.
- OUR CLIENTS
BN’s consistent performance in achieving our clients’ goals has resulted in our appointment and re-appointment to many insurers’ legal panels, including the panels of all five of Australia’s largest general insurance companies. We also receive instructions from the London market, including Lloyd’s syndicates.
- STAY INFORMED
Our monthly eNewsletter, Case Collective, delivers important case law developments in the area of property claims to your inbox.