King & Wood Mallesons

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A colossal collision — insurer emerges unscathed

Insurers successfully relied on an exclusion clause to avoid a third-party claim under section 51(1) of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) (ICA) in the decision of Murray’s Transport NSW Pty Ltd v CGU Insurance Ltd [2012] SADC 172.  

On 16 June 2008, there was a head-on collision between two vehicles on a highway in South Australia. One was a Jaguar. The other was a prime mover towing two semi-trailers, known as a B-double. The driver of the Jaguar was killed on impact. He held a comprehensive motor vehicle insurance policy with CGU Insurance Ltd.

The owners of the B-double, Murray’s Transport, subsequently went into liquidation. Insurers of the B-double exercised their right of subrogation to make a claim directly against the Jaguar’s insurer, CGU, for the driver’s liability in damages to Murray’s Transport. Murray’s Transport claimed the cost of repairs to the B-double and associated expenses…

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