3rd Edition – Life Insurance Quarterly Newsletter

10 October 2016

We are delighted to welcome you to the third edition of the HWL Ebsworth Life Insurance Quarterly Newsletter.

With insurance lawyers in each capital city, HWL Ebsworth has one of the largest insurance practices in Australia, dedicated to assisting clients in all aspects of insurance and reinsurance. Within the national practice group we have a team of partners and lawyers who specialise in life insurance and have market-leading expertise across all Australian jurisdictions.

As part of our focus on the life insurance industry, each quarter we address a range of topics designed to provide industry stakeholders with an insight into legal and other developments across the nation.

In this edition we review the following topics:

TDP or not TDP? That is the question

The recent District Court of Queensland decision of Reynolds v Sunsuper Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] QDC 129, regarding the plaintiff’s entitlement to a Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) benefit, has potentially provided some long awaited certainty to TPD matters in Queensland.

To read more click here.

Trying to set [your] life on fire!

On 17 March 2008 a home belonging to Mr and Mrs Humby was damaged in a fire and both were subsequently found to have concocted and pursued a scheme to burn down their house for the house and contents insurance. The plan was found to have been likely instigated as a means of addressing the family’s dire financial circumstances and the imminent repossession of the house as a result of overdue mortgage payments.

To read more click here.

A bankrupt’s entitlement to claim TPD benefits: considering Berryman v Zurich [2016] WASC 196

There is a longstanding and established discrepancy between the Bankruptcy Act and the Life Insurance Act 1995 as to what constitutes a policy of life insurance as opposed to policy of life assurance. Until recently, this distinction was considered to underpin the principle that TPD and income protection benefits are divisible among creditors to a bankrupt insured’s estate.

To read moreĀ click here.

The Life Insurance Code of Practice and the Life Code Compliance Committee

When ratified the Code will provide a framework by which industry participants will standardise their conduct with policyholders, it will also become an effective marketing tool for those life insurers that agree to be bound by it. The Life Code Compliance Committee will operate as another level of regulatory oversight for the industry.

To read more click here.

What is reasonable for the trustee to do when pursuing an insurance claim for the benefit of a beneficiary?

A trend in superannuation litigation is for claims against trustees to allege a failure to “do everything that is reasonable to pursue an insurance claim for the benefit of a beneficiary, if the claim has a reasonable prospect of success.

To read more click here.

Causation and TDP: Recent trends

Whether or not an injury or illness itself causes a claimant to be absent from their occupation or employment is an issue that arises from time to time in TPD claims. For example, it may be that the true reason that a claimant is absent from work is because of forthcoming redundancy, their employment has been terminated or perhaps due to motivational issues.

To read more click here.

Editors: Jason Stevens, Partner, and Matthew Harding, Partner.

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