Insurance in MOtion – Court orders Superannuation Complaints Tribunal to think again

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In Sharma v LGSS Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 167 the Federal Court upheld Mr Sharma’s appeal and remitted the case back to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal to decide it ‘according to law’.

The Tribunal had earlier found that the insurer’s decision, to avoid policies for TPD and IP cover, was fair and reasonable. Mr Sharma took out voluntary cover for TPD and IP (via his superannuation fund) and upon subsequently making claims the insurer avoided the policies on the basis of fraudulent non-disclosure of past depression and tachycardia.

The Tribunal was found to have erred in not having sufficient basis for imposing the duty of disclosure on Mr Sharma (when he was a policy beneficiary, not the contracting insured). It was not necessary to decide the other grounds of appeal but further observations included; an insufficient basis for the finding that the insurer would not have provided cover on any terms had the medical history been disclosed; and no sufficient basis to make a finding of fraud.  The Tribunal’s reconsideration will hopefully address the important issues properly. Read more here.

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