On 25 June 2021, the High Court of Australia refused two insurers special leave to appeal the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal in HDI Global Specialty SE v Wonkana No 3 Pty Ltd  NSWCA 296.
The NSW Court of Appeal unanimously held that insurers could not rely on an exclusion clause contained in certain policies to refuse indemnity for business interruption claims arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first test case does not mandate a blanket approach to policy coverage for all business interruption claims. Each will turn on the language of each policy wording and the circumstances of each claim.
Insurers have sought further judicial guidance on a number of other matters affecting the operation of business interruption policies in the context of COVID-19 in a second test case, due to be heard by the Federal Court later this year.