NZ Supreme Court grants leave to hear Canterbury earthquake appeal

The New Zealand Supreme Court has granted leave to Tower Insurance to appeal the Court of Appeal’s adverse judgment against it: Tower Insurance Ltd v Skyward Aviation 2008 Ltd [2014] NZSC 93.

We provided commentary on the Court of Appeal’s judgment in an earlier edition of nzinsurance law: read it here. Or alternatively listen to it on your smartphone while driving by following this link. We have received constructive feedback on this podcast; your correspondent’s vocal manner being described as either robotic or monotonous. Your correspondent is investigating the cost and utility of vocal coaching.

On a more serious note, we earlier noted that, in its reasoning, the Court of Appeal referred to the policyholder’s ownership interest, which included a “legitimate interest” in retaining a neighbourhood link to the existing location of the property, in contrast to the insurer’s “strictly economic” interest. The suggestion that, in an insurance policy, language must be unequivocal in order to leave unaddressed a policyholder’s legitimate interest in the property was a very interesting one and will most likely be the focus of some attention in the Supreme Court hearing.

Steve Keall
23 July 2014


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