Reinsurers thrown into the Steigrad pool In our alert last year we commented on the New Zealand case of Steigrad v BFSL 2007 Limited. Although subject to appeal, the Steigrad decision has generated great interest, not only for directors and the insurance industry but also for the wider community, as consideration is given to its possible ramifications for other policies.
Microinsurance in Australia – a flexible solution to non-insurance? Despite the existence of a well established general insurance market in Australia, private insurance penetration remains minimal in low-income areas. The issue of under-insurance, and indeed no insurance at all in certain demographics has become particularly relevant in light of recent catastrophic events across Australia.
Outward reinsurance and insurance portfolio transfersLegacy issues for Part III Div 3A Insurance Act 1973 (Cth) schemes from pre scheme regime insurance portfolio transfers.
Advertising – ASIC good practice guidanceASIC has released Regulatory Guide 234 - good practice guidance for advertising financial products and financial advice services. One of the major focuses of the regulatory guide is advertising insurance products.
Proposed Outsourcing Standard for private health insurers PHIAC has entered the second consultation phase on the proposed Outsourcing Standard for private health insurers by releasing a further discussion paper. We commented on the first discussion paper in the October Update. PHIAC received 15 submissions – 10 from insurers, 5 from key stakeholders. Concerns were raised about the impact of the proposed Standard on existing major outsourcing arrangements that various insurers engage in with the AHSA and HAMBS.
Never rains but it pours – flood insurance reform framework passed The Insurance Contracts Amendment Bill 2011 (Cth) has now passed in the Senate. This heralds a new legislative framework for the creation of regulations that will set out a standard definition of flood and the form and content of Key Fact Sheets for prescribed contracts of insurance.
China: CIRC introduces rules on transfer of insurance business The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has responded to increasing demand in the insurance market for restructuring of insurance businesses by introducing rules to govern the transfer of insurance business from one insurance company to another.
China: New Measures on the Issue of Subordinated Debt by Insurance Companies The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has recently issued Measures on the Administration of Subordinated Fixed Term Debt of Insurance Companies (CIRC Notice  No. 2) (effective 6 October 2011) to replace interim measures on the same subject issued in 2004 (CIRC Notice  No. 10).
The reason for your trip - business or pleasure? Where a policy covers activities “in connection with the insured’s business”, and the insured’s business is recreation, the line between business and pleasure can be blurry.
Winding up of insurers – proceeds of reinsurance contractsWhere an insurer (as reinsured) receives money under a reinsurance contract it made before the commencement of its winding up, Corporations Act ss 562A(2) and (3) provide that the money be applied to insurance claims of certain of the insurer’s insureds, in priority to the insurer’s general creditors.
What is a reasonable time for payment of claims? Oakland Investments (Aus) Limited v Certain Underwriters at Lloyds & Anor  QSC 6 considered the application of a Mortgage Indemnity and Impairment Policy and the issue of whether underwriters were in breach of contract as a result of delay in paying undisputed amounts under the policy.
Of mice and mares: falling foul of your contractual obligation to insure Ultra Thoroughbred Racing v Those Certain Underwriters & Ors  VSC 589 serves as a reminder of the potential award of damages that can be made if a party to a contract fails to take out insurance cover as required under the terms of the contract.
Statutory charges – no cap on insurers’ legal costs Legislation in New South Wales creates a statutory charge over certain insurance proceeds in the hands of the insurer. The construction and application of this provision has proved troublesome.
Can a missing brake contribute to an accident? Matthew Maxwell v GTI International Pty Ltd  VSCA. This was an appeal from the Supreme Court of Appeal of Victoria.
Who does this affect?
Insurers, reinsurers, insureds, insurance brokers and agents.
What do you need to do?
Consider whether the issues and developments discussed in this publication may impact on your business. We can help.