IAL Business Interruption Insurance Class Action

Overview

This is a Class Action against Insurance Australia Limited (IAL) on behalf of businesses insured with CGU Insurance under certain policies of business insurance that were in place during the period 19 January 2020 to 1 July 2021, and who have suffered business interruption losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IAL BII Class Action seeks to facilitate a Court-supervised process for the assessment of the business interruption claims of all eligible Class Members. The Court will be asked to determine all issues that are relevant to whether insurance cover is available for COVID-19 related losses, and to also make orders defining a system for the efficient and independent quantification of the insured Class Member losses.

The Class Action is being funded and conducted as a litigation funding scheme, compliant with regulations introduced by the Australian Government in 2020. The name of the scheme is the ‘IAL BII Litigation Funding Scheme’ (ARSN 652 537 678) (the Scheme).

As the Scheme’s Responsible Entity, CASL Governance Ltd (CASL) is responsible for issuing the Scheme’s Product Disclosure Statement, as well as any interests in the Scheme.

The Class Action will be run by Slater & Gordon Lawyers, with support from ICP Funding Pty Ltd, an Authorised Representative of CASL.

 

Background

‘CGU Insurance’ (CGU) is one of the registered business names of IAL and a provider of policies of ‘business insurance’ to the Australian market.

Several different forms of CGU’s business insurance policy wordings exist which include cover for business interruption (BI) losses. Certain BI policy wordings include cover for interruptions arising from particular outbreaks of disease and/or circumstances which prevent access to the business’ premises.

Whether these types of clauses have been triggered by the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic is currently subject to a test case that insurers have filed in the Federal Court of Australia. Even after that case has been determined, there may remain other contentious issues that continue to delay IAL’s processing of pandemic-related BI claims.

Pursuing a business interruption claim individually against an insurer may be slow and time-consuming. Contesting any aspect of an insurer’s decision may involve legal cost and a possible exposure to liability to pay the insurer’s legal costs if unsuccessful.

The Class Action against IAL provides eligible Class Members with an opportunity to have their COVID-19 business interruption claim determined at no upfront cost, and without exposure to any further costs if the action is unsuccessful.

Class Members will comprise all businesses that:

  • held a CGU policy of business insurance that:
    • was in place during any part of the period from 19 January 2020 to 1 September 2021;
    • included cover for business interruption in the policy schedule;
    • included certain policy terms in the policy wording, including a reference to the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth);
  • suffered interruption or interference to their business operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • have not previously been indemnified by IAL in respect of a claim for COVID-19 business interruption losses.

 

Register your interest

Class Members are encouraged to register their interest in the IAL BII Scheme by clicking the “REGISTER YOUR INTEREST” button below, even if you’ve lodged a claim on your CGU policy and it has been denied, or have been advised not to make a claim on your policy.

 

Am I Class Member in the IAL BII class action?

Please review your insurance documents to work out if you are a Class Member in this litigation. These documents will include a policy schedule, and a policy wording or Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

STEP ONE: please check if your policy schedule:

  • Describes the type of policy as business insurance or office insurance (this does NOT include policies of Landlord Insurance, Professional Indemnity Insurance, Liability Insurance, or Workers Compensation Insurance);
  • Identifies the insurer or underwriter of the policy as ‘CGU Insurance Limited‘ and/or ‘Insurance Australia Limited trading as CGU Insurance‘;
  • Details a period of cover which indicates that the policy was in place at any time from 19 January 2020 to 1 September 2021; and
  • Includes a section of cover for ‘Business Interruption’ which specifies a limit of indemnity (or Sum Insured) in that section.

If your policy schedule meets all of the above criteria, proceed to step two below. If your policy does not meet the criteria, you are not an eligible Class Member.

STEP TWO: please review your policy wording (also known as the PDS) to check if the section for Business Interruption contains any clauses which refer to the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth). If there are, you may be an eligible Class Member, provided that there are no endorsements to your policy wording that modify the references to the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth) in the main part of the wording or PDS.

By registering, you will receive further information about the Class Action and how you can apply to become an active member of the Scheme, if you choose to do so. Registering your interest does not involve an obligation by any party to participate in the Scheme.

 

I think I am a Class Member. What’s next?

Click on the “REGISTER YOUR INTEREST” button below to register an expression of interest to receive further information about the Class Action, including:

  • a Product Disclosure Statement in respect of the Scheme;
  • how to participate; and
  • updates about the progress of the Class Action.

 

 

By registering your expression of interest, you are indicating your interest in receiving further information about the Class Action. Registering your expression of interest is not a commitment by any party to participate in funded litigation, nor is it an application to become a Class Member or member of the Scheme.

 

 

IAL BII Litigation Funding Scheme, ARSN 652 537 678. Responsible Entity for the Scheme is CASL Governance Ltd, ABN 97 643 977 833, AFSL No. 525889. ICP Funding Pty Ltd, ABN 32 626 526 458, Authorised Representative No. 1286235.