Insurance Law

Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers has a diverse and expanding practice which delivers quality legal services in insurance law matters. 

We have many years of experience in acting for and against insurance companies in litigation and can assist with cases arising from a wide variety of insurance contracts, including:
  • insurance protecting against loss or damage caused by negligence
  • professional negligence/indemnity insurance - policies protecting the policy holder, their clients and other consumers from the negligence of a professional
  • life insurance and income protection contracts
  • insurance protecting against injury to property interests
  • assisting the insured where an insurer denies liability under a “trauma insurance” policy
  • acting for insurers and employers in disputes about workers’ compensation insurance premiums etc.
Our lawyers are tough litigators. They are also expert negotiators and can provide you with practical and realistic advice about when to pursue a matter and when to settle. Our expertise lies in reviewing "liability declined" decisions, negotiating settlements and mediation, assessing the range of damages available, litigating contested claims and alternative dispute resolution.
Insurance and loss claims
Our talented and experienced team of lawyers are also able to help you investigate your rights and recover any loss you may have incurred from the person who is legally liable.  
We can provide you with legal advice and representation if you have:
  • a claim arising from a loss you suffer as the result of something which someone else should (or should not) have done
  • suffered loss as a result of the carelessness of another person – for example, a negligence claim
  • suffered loss as a result of something a professional has done (or failed to do, or should have done differently)
  • any other insurance claim.
In some cases, we will consider acting on a “no win no fee” basis - conditions apply.
Further information
Contact Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers on (02) 8268 4000 for friendly professional service.
Contract: the rules of the game
Date: Jun 15, 2015

The traditionally accepted view of law is that it is an independent set of rules governing society routinely applied by reference to existing precedent. The law is considered autonomous and distinct from custom, morality, religion and politics. In western civilisations, legal systems are built on liberal foundations.

Private contractual arrangements and government intervention
Date: Jun 12, 2015

The law was not constructed on a bare canvas, but on value-laden foundations. Ordinarily, when a house is built on a sloping block, the nature of that slope determines the type of structure erected upon it. The structure is changed to suit the conditions of the landscape, not vice-versa. It is no different with the law.

Religious officers, contracts and legal relations
Date: Jun 11, 2015

In commercial transactions, the onus of proving (on the balance of probabilities) that a contract does not exist rests with the party disputing what courts presume to be an agreement intended to have legal force. For disputes concerning family members, courts take the viewpoint that “each house is a domain into which the King's writ does not seek to run, and to which his officers do not seek to be admitted”.

Consideration in contract law
Date: Jun 10, 2015

The doctrine of Consideration is concerned with the price paid for a promise. Consideration is something of legal value given in exchange for a promise.

A contract that is not a contract
Date: Jun 09, 2015

Equitable Estoppel is a cause of action that protects parties’ reliance on promises which have the appearance of a contract, but which do not satisfy the elements needed to create binding legal relations, that result in detriment to one party. The case of Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher is a landmark case which has greatly affected the common law of contract.

Is there anything I can do if my insurer refuses to pay my claim? – section 54 Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)
Date: Nov 07, 2014

An insurer can deny your claim for any number of reasons, which can be a devastating blow to your business or personal finances. Often it is due to a failure to comply with certain conditions in your contract such as notifying your insurer immediately when an incident occurs, maintaining certain safety standards or updating your insurer on changes to your circumstances. Insurers used to be allowed to draft their insurance contracts to give them a right to terminate the contract for even minor breaches of contract or breaches which didn’t cause the loss or any prejudice to the insurer. However, since the introduction of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), insured’s have been granted some significant protections which were intended to more fairly balance the interests of both parties. One of the most controversial sections in this respect is section 54.

Duty of Utmost Good Faith in Insurance Contracts
Date: Nov 04, 2014

In dealing with contracts, you likely will have encountered terms which require contracting parties to deal with each other in ‘good faith’. This means that you have a general obligation to deal with the other party honestly and fairly. The duty is sometimes provided for expressly and often implied into a contract. Insurance contracts, however, are in a special category. Due to specific legislation regulating insurance contracts, a duty of ‘utmost good faith’ is implied into every insurance contract made after 1 January 1986 and must be complied with by both parties to the insurance contract. However, what ‘utmost good faith’ actually involves is far from clear.

The application of section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 to ‘claims made and notified’ insurance policies
Date: Oct 30, 2014

Section 54 has proven to be one of the most controversial and heavily litigated sections of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984. In addition, certain types of insurance policy have felt the sting of s54 more acutely, specifically the ‘claims made and notified’ policy. Its application to these types of policies has sent shockwaves through the insurance industry leading to many legislative reviews and calls for reform. As of yet, it still remains in its original form and continues to be a thorn in the side of insurers. Please refer to our previous articles for a more general look at the effect of s54.

Insured’s Duty of Disclosure for Insurance Contracts
Date: Oct 08, 2014

Both parties to an insurance contract are primarily concerned with prudently apportioning their risk. Therefore there is a higher expectation than in other contracts, that both parties will disclose all relevant facts prior to entering into the contract, to allow an accurate assessment of the risk. While both parties are expected to disclose all facts material to the proposed insurance of which they are aware, the insured also has a statutory duty of disclosure.

Notification of Unusual Terms in Insurance Contracts
Date: Oct 06, 2014

Insurance contracts by their nature are usually quite long and complicated. It is tempting to be complacent and not thoroughly read through them, especially if you have multiple insurance policies covering different types of risk and your policies always seem to say the same things.

Exclusion Clauses in Insurance Contracts
Date: Oct 03, 2014

The ability to insure against certain unavoidable risks provides an invaluable financial safety net in our society. However, insurance companies are profit-based and will not hesitate to refuse your claim if they are entitled. One of the most common ways this occurs is due to the operation of exclusion clauses. Many an unwary customer has been stung because they didn't fully understand what they were covered for and what obligations they had to comply with to ensure they would be insured.

Costs orders - who pays the costs of legal proceedings?
Date: Aug 25, 2014

The Court has power under Section 98 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 to determine by whom, to whom and to what extent the costs of the proceedings are to be paid.

LITIGATION - Frequently Asked Questions
Date: Dec 04, 2012

Deciding how to settle a dispute - Choosing a process - Commencing litigation - Pre-trial procedures - Discontinuance or withdrawal - Enforcement of judgments - Costs of Litigation - Time limits - Lawyers

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