Insuring against political risk is a dynamic, challenging issue for insurers, reinsurers and businesses alike.

We have helped clients when civil violence has affected operations, supply chains, travel and business continuity. We have also advised on claims following government expropriation of assets or where there has been restriction on the repatriation of funds.

Even in the domestic Australian and New Zealand markets, governments can be unpredictable. An increasing part of our team’s work involves advising on claims where government policy changes dramatically affect the business environment.

Recent work

We represented reinsurers in arbitration proceedings (under the ARIAS rules) arising out of a US$22 million claim made under a political violence insurance policy relating to the seizure of an insured property by militants in Iraq in 2015. The claim was withdrawn shortly after reinsurers issued arbitration proceedings seeking declaratory relief against insurers.

We advised insurers on claims made under political violence and stand-alone terrorism insurance policies arising out of incidents involving militant groups in Iraq, Algeria and Nigeria.

We have advised insurers on claims made under kidnap and ransom policies relating to kidnappings that allegedly occurred in Syria and an alleged extortion by authorities in Mexico.

We defended a claim brought by an insured against insurers for losses allegedly suffered as a result of the Abu Dhabi Government’s failure to pay for the supply of education services. Zurich Australian Insurance Limited v Cognition Education Limited [2014] NZSC 188 is now the leading New Zealand authority. This case brought New Zealand in line with the UNCITRAL Model Law.