Track Record

North Queensland Grazing Company

The Insured lodged a claim for destruction by fire of one of its buildings.  The insurance company’s Loss Adjuster took months to communicate with the Insured and even then offered a cash settlement with no explanation and well below the repair / replacement cost of the damaged building.

We defeated the insurer’s arguments and achieved a satisfactory result for our client including recovering the cost of our fees to act for them.

Central NSW Country Hotel

Our client was facing very substantial uninsured costs for personal injury sustained by a patron who had tripped and fallen in the hotel disco area.  The hotel’s Public Liability insurer attempted to deny liability to our client on the basis of a non-disclosure issue at the time the risk was proposed.  Our review of the proposal form revealed it to be grossly ambiguous and in particular the questions raised were in no way related to or, would have drawn out the information which was being relied upon by the insurer as a non-disclosed fact.  Our client’s claim for indemnity in respect of the demand brought by the third party was settled in full – inclusive of our costs.

Beachside Restaurant

Our client’s business premises being one of dozens in a very successful franchise chain along the eastern seaboard, was destroyed by fire following a gas explosion in the basement of the building.  The insurance company was disputing issues relating to our client’s lease, the terms of its Franchise Agreement and other matters which we were able to demonstrate were completely irrelevant to the material and consequential losses sustained by our client.

We successfully achieved a full indemnity for our client including fast tracking the reinstatement of damage which substantially reduced our client’s Business Interruption claim and we again recovered our fees incurred by our client.

Recovery Under a Product Liability Policy

Our client was a well established Veterinary Practice and engaged a contractor to install an expensive polyurethane floor finish throughout their surgery.  The finish was unacceptable and injurious to our client’s business activities.  By the time our client was referred to us they had utilised the services of three local law firms, none of whom had been able to achieve a result and recover the cost of removing and replacing the faulty floor product.

We successfully recovered all of our client’s costs from the applicator’s Product Liability insurer together with a Loss of Profits sustained by our client and once again our fees incurred in achieving the result.

Contractual Dispute - Insurance

A large aquaculture facility was being constructed by a joint venture of two major contractors who engaged a plumbing subcontractor.

The plumbing contractor suffered the loss of line boring equipment and attempted to claim against the joint venture contractors’ Contract Works policy which insured subcontractors.

The claim was initially rejected by reliance upon specific exclusions within the policy relating to “tunnelling”.  The plumbing contractor was referred to us for assistance.

We were obliged to agree that although the line boring was not strictly “tunnelling” in construction terms, it would have been difficult to overturn the insurer’s decision on this occasion.

We therefore placed demands upon the joint venture head contractors for reimbursement of our client’s uninsured loss by reliance on their breach of the contract terms.  The head contractors had contractually agreed to arrange a policy to insure all losses other than certain “excepted losses” and our client’s claim was not one of those contractually excluded losses.

After a great deal of negotiation we were successful in recovering the entirety of our client’s loss. 

Marine Industry Manufacturer – Insured and Uninsured Losses

Our client had only owned the recently purchased business for around three weeks before one element of the operation was destroyed by a fortuitous fire.  This resulted in some insured losses with which we were able to assist our client upon referral from their Broker and our client was very satisfied when we recovered a cost approaching $400,000 of uninsured costs from the party responsible.  This settlement of uninsured costs was achieved without reference to lawyers or courts.

 

 

Major Fashion Retail – Uninsured Damage to Premises

Our client retailed a well known range of sport and leisure fashion labels.  During the fit-out of a new showroom the tiling contractor used an inappropriate chemical to clean the newly installed floor tiles.  The gaseous emissions developed from the chemical which was used caused extensive corrosion to all shop fixtures and fittings, lighting equipment and door hardware.  The intrinsic cost of repairs to these materials alone exceeded $500,000 and the anticipated cost of disrupting the business to effect the removal and replacement of the floor tiles and other damaged equipment would have resulted in potentially another $1 million in lost business.

Without reference to the court but, after lengthy argument with the third party’s Solicitors and Product Liability insurer, we effected a settlement which was highly satisfactory to our client.  We were successful on this occasion in recovering the majority of fees our client had incurred with our activities.

Contract Works Claim – Policy Exclusion Dispute

Our client constructed a multi-storey curtain wall glazed apartment complex with commercial content.  The Engineer’s structural design was flawed causing deflections of cantilevered concrete slabs which themselves imposed a surcharge on the curtain wall glazing not designed to withstand such loads.  Massive deflection occurred and the entire exterior of the building required re-glazing.  The costs approached $2 million.

Our client’s Contract Works insurer rejected the claim for damage to the curtain wall glazing by reliance upon exclusions relating to defective design. 

We were able to demonstrate to the insurer that the application of the exclusion had to apply to the defective design of the concrete structure which then resulted in deflection of the concrete floor slabs and that this was the component to be excluded and not the damage resulting, namely the curtain glazing.  A full understanding of the subtleties of Policy Wordings and in particular those within the Contract Works arena was essential to the success of our client’s claim.  We were also able to assist the insurer with their subrogated rights against the engineering company responsible for the problem.

Wrongful declinature – The Insurer’s Mistake

A very well established manufacturer of large illuminated signage suffered complete destruction of their business premises by fire.  It was only then that they realised their policy had not been renewed some weeks earlier by their Broker.

An initial action brought by the manufacturer’s Lawyers against the Professional Indemnity insurer of the Broker was not succeeding when we became involved with the matter.  We were able to demonstrate to the Lawyers that in this instance the action should not have been brought against the “Broker” but directly against the insurer.  The “Broker” was in fact an Agent of the insurer and we identified that the insurer had not complied with their obligations under the relevant legislation to notify of certain renewal terms.  We were successful and our client recovered the entirety of its loss together with interest and our fees.

Construction Claim – Negligent Design

The concrete floor and external pavements of a large industrial complex were designed with conventional steel reinforcing fabric.  In an endeavour to save costs the Engineers varied the design of the floor slabs by deleting the steel reinforcing fabric and substituting it with fibre steel additive to the concrete mix.  This product can control surface shrinkage cracks in concrete slabs but does not replace the function and purpose of steel reinforcing fabric. 

The contractor was obliged to remove and replace all the affected concrete at a very substantial cost and appealed for compensation from their Contract Works insurer who denied liability by reliance upon an exclusion relating to defective workmanship and materials.

The contractor was referred to us and after a lengthy consideration of the material involved we succeeded in an action against the Professional Indemnity insurer of the Engineer employed by the supplier of the fibre steel reinforcing product.