Wotton + Kearney Insurance Year in Review – 2010

Insurance Year in Review

Welcome to the 2010 Wotton + Kearney “Insurance Law Review”.

The past twelve months have been dominated by weather ‘events’; both actual events reflected by storms in three Australian States costing the industry in excess of $2 billion, and the much anticipated Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission final report in response to the 2009 “Black Saturday” bushfires. From these events has emerged a resilient and increasingly confident industry in light of continuing strong capitalisation and (finally) some positive legislative changes – with Victoria opting to remove the fire services levy on property policies.

On the claims front – and particularly in directors & officers and financial institutions lines of business – insurers will be asking themselves whether the worst is over after the global financial crisis. Whilst we suspect the answer to the question is ‘Yes’, there remains the very real possibility of short term pain, particularly in the classes of insurance referred to above, as the significant increase in claims over the past few years will likely take a number of years to resolve.

We are optimistic that this publication will assist the reader in understanding key developments in insurance law generally and across a broad range of product types over the past 12 months. Matthew Foglia’s article on proposed changes to the Insurance Contracts Act and Robin Shute’s article addressing class actions in a product liability context are two such examples.

Within the insurance industry Wotton + Kearney remains committed to the provision of legal services of the highest quality in a manner which assists the industry in responding quickly and efficiently to legal problems. To this end we encourage you to contact the author of any of the articles included in the publication with any general queries.