Geoffrey Hancy - Barrister

AIG Insurance Australia Ltd v McMurray

[2023] WASCA 148

Insurer’s appeal to Court of Appeal dismissed. Luxury home destroyed by fire. Claim against builder’s insurer settled before trial. Insurer of building relied on “Contract Works” exclusion. Insurer contended fire caused by spontaneous combustion of rags soaked in timber stain product left by painters during refurbishment (“renovations”) works. Competing theories on cause of fire. Evidence of an intruder. Cause not proven by insurer. Insurer liable. Admittedly negligent failure by insurance broker to obtain appropriate insurance. Broker not liable on ground that insurer liable and no loss by insureds. On appeal client was successful.

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