Tag Archives: Skyward v Tower

NZ Supreme Court news: Canterbury earthquake cases

It is understood that Skyward Aviation 2008 Ltd v Tower Insurance Ltd is being heard in the Supreme Court tomorrow (Wednesday 5 November 2014). To refresh your memory, I wrote about the Court of Appeal case here. You can read the Court of Appeal decision here.

In other news, a review of the “Case Summaries” list on the Supreme Court website shows that applications for leave to appeal have been filed in the Supreme court respect of QBE Insurance (International) Limited v Wild South Holdings Limited and Maxims Fashions Limited (SC 106/ 2014) and Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London and Sirius International Insurance Group Limited v Crystal Imports Limited (SC 107/ 2014); two of the three “conjoined” proceedings dealt with in the Court of Appeal in QBE Insurance (International) Limited v Wild South Holdings Limited [2014] NZCA 447 (10 September 2014) which I mentioned briefly here after the decision was delivered. Noticeably absent from this line up is the third of the three proceedings; Marriott v Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd. One assumes that the insurer in this latter case was content not to push the issues further.

In further news, it is understood that the insurer has filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in Avonside v Southern Response, which I wrote about here. One has to wonder about the utility of New Zealand’s highest Court potentially opining on specific line items in a replacement cost analysis, and as it relates to a “notional” rebuild only. Of course, only the insurer knows how many properties fall into that category. The bench addressing the leave application will need to decide what number of affected dwellings makes it a truly significant case, in the circumstances. One would have thought that would have to be a very high number.

Steve Keall
4 November 2014

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