Cover to Cover: Issue 30

  • Publications and reports

    01 May 2024

Cover to Cover: Issue 30 Desktop Image Cover to Cover: Issue 30 Mobile Image

Welcome to our first edition of Cover to Cover for 2024, our publication for New Zealand insurance professionals. 

In this edition, we discuss the re-emergence of the most important development in New Zealand’s insurance law in a century, the Insurance Contracts Bill, which had fallen off the Government’s legislative agenda but was fortuitously drawn from the private members’ ballot last month and has now been adopted as a renamed Contracts of Insurance Bill.  Developed further from the exposure draft released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in 2022, it proposes fundamental and long overdue changes to New Zealand’s insurance law, including significant changes to the policyholder’s duty of disclosure. 

We discuss an important decision of the High Court issuing guidance to the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal, which confirms that specialist tribunals are required to apply recognised principles of insurance law. The Court overturned a decision of the Tribunal that would have required the insurer to pay repair costs up front as well overturning a finding that the insurer owed a general duty to assess damage and scope repairs, and confirmed the traditional principle that the obligation to prove loss rests with the policyholder. 

We also discuss the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Smith v Fonterra & Ors, which allowed a claim by a climate change activist against some of New Zealand’s largest companies to proceed to trial, and what the decision means for insurers. We also discuss the outcome of the Whakaari White Island health and safety prosecutions. 

Finally, we report on two interesting cases, one in which an insurer was found to have a duty to bring a change in policy terms to a policyholder’s attention, and another in which a fraudulent claim had a dramatic impact upon an insured. 

We hope you find this edition interesting and informative.

Read Cover to Cover

This issue is available in PDF or individual articles below:

Insurance contracts back on Parliament's agenda
IAG v Degen: The CEIT and fundamental principals of insurance law
Climate change litigation: What the Supreme Court judgment in Smith v Fonterra means for insurers
Lessons for insurers from the Whakaari White Island health & safety prosecutions
Case study: A flood and a dishonest insured
Case study: IFSO upholds a complaint based on an insurer's failure to notify
Trustees' liabilties: The risks of trading trusts