Articles

Reinsurance and arbitration

Authors: Timothy Price

On 5 October 2011 the High Court delivered judgment in Westport Insurance Corporation v Gordian Runoff Ltd [2011] HCA 37 upholding the appeal of the reinsurers in a reinsurance dispute concerning:

  • the application of section 18B(1) of the Insurance Act 1902 (NSW) (Insurance Act) to contracts of reinsurance; and
  • the applicable criteria for appeals from arbitration awards as provided for by theCommercial Arbitration Act 1984 (NSW) and in particular the adequacy of arbitrators’ reasons.

Whilst the application of the Insurance Act to reinsurance contracts has limited application (contracts entered into after 1 September 2009 have been exempted from section 18B(1) of the Insurance Act) the court’s consideration of and findings in relation to the Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 (NSW) and in particular what constitutes adequate reasons from an arbitrator are of significance to the reinsurance industry and to users of commercial arbitrations.

 

Significant cases, legislation or articles referred to

Westport Insurance Corporation v Gordian Runoff Ltd
Insurance Act 1902 (NSW)
Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 (NSW)
Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 NSW
HIH Casualty & General Insurance v R J Wallace (2006) 68 NSWLR 603
Oil Basins v BHP Billiton (2007) 18 VR 346
Insurance Regulation 2009 (NSW)

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