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Lloyds Business Interruption Class Action

We have issued class actions on behalf of thousands of businesses who held business interruption insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The class actions are against two major insurers, QBE and Lloyd’s of London.

The class actions argue that class members are entitled to an insurance payout, because their business insurance policy covered them for when their business was closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The insurers so far have denied cover to thousands of businesses.

If you have received a notice from the Federal Court informing you that you are a group member in this proceeding, you should consider registering to ensure that you and the other group members are able to benefit from the class actions.

If you have questions about the class actions, call us on 1300 584 626 or read our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Lloyds Business Interruption Claims

QBE and Lloyds are insurers. Like most insurers, they sold “business insurance” to businesses. Business insurance covers your business for a lot of things that could go wrong. One of the things that can be covered is ‘business interruption’. That means when your business can’t open because of things that aren’t your fault, your insurer covers your costs under the terms of their policy with you. During the COVID pandemic, many businesses were interrupted, because they were closed. The Chief Health Officers in each State ordered that some businesses close, as a part of the Pandemic response – for example, cafes, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers, cinemas and many others.

Insurers have mostly not paid out on business interruption insurance claims and have told people that they are not covered. The insurance industry, through the Insurance Council of Australia, told people that ‘pandemics were not covered’. We believe that for QBE and some Lloyds customers , that information was wrong – and it stopped people from making claims. The point of this class action is to get the insurers to pay out claims under specific QBE and Lloyds policies to the businesses.

The Notice to Class Members is a notice approved by the Court that is sent to all of the “class members” in the business interruption insurance class actions. Class members are people like you who had insurance for their business with QBE or Lloyds.

The purpose of the notice is to let you know that you can register for the class action to give it the best chance of going ahead.

The parties to the class action and the Court are seeking to determine how many class members want to proceed with the class action. If you do not register by, there is an increased risk that the class action will not go ahead, in which case you will need to pursue your potential claim directly, and you will lose the benefits of being a class member in the class action.

A class action is a kind of legal claim where many people bring a claim against the same person. In this case, the many people are the thousands of businesses that held insurance with QBE or Lloyds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those businesses say that the insurers are required to pay out their insurance claims because they had insurance which covered them for the pandemic.

A “group member” or “class member” is a person who shares a dispute with the representative applicants in a class action, even though they may not know it. A representative applicant is a person who “represents” the other people in the class action. For example, in this case, the representative applicants are insured businesses, who held policies of insurance like yours. They made claims on those policies when their businesses were closed because of lockdowns, and those claims were refused by their insurers. The representative applicants have now sued the insurers for refusing their claims.

If you are a group member, it means that you hold the same or very similar policy to the representative applicants, and so you likely have the same claim against your insurer, even though you may not have known it. A list of the policies that apply can be found here [link]. Gordon Legal can help you with this if you call us on (03) 9603 3000 or by visiting us online at

When the Court makes a decision on the representative applicant’s case, it will also affect you, because your legal cases are substantially the same. This means that you have the benefit of the representative applicant standing in the shoes of thousands of other businesses like yours.

In Australia, you don’t have to ask permission from group members before starting a class action. Instead, the Court will let you know that the class action has been started, and give you the option to decide whether you want to benefit from the class action or not. That is why you have received a “notice to group members”.

This system allows people to find out about class actions that might affect them and make an informed decision about how to proceed, under the guidance of the Court.


This is a notice to you approved to be sent to you by the Federal Court so that you can be informed about your rights.

We appreciate that many people are conscious of internet scams and direct marketing, including through emails. That’s understandable. This notice is not a scam. This is a legal notice that you should read carefully. Your contact details were forwarded under the protection of a Court Order so you could be informed about your rights.

You can confirm the legitimacy of the notice by calling or emailing Gordon Legal.
Gordon Legal can help you with this if you call us on (03) 9603 3000 or by visiting us online at

You can also confirm details of the class action by getting in touch with the Federal Court, or reviewing the Federal Court’s dedicated class action page here:

The QBE class action has the file number NSD638/2021 and the Lloyds class action has the file number NSD737/2021, for your reference.

There is no out-of-pocket cost to taking part in the class action. It is free to register. If the class action is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay anything.

If the class action is successful, then the lawyer’s legal fees and the commission of the litigation funder, Omni Bridgeway, will be subtracted from the amount awarded to the group as a whole.

Any payment of legal fees or commission must be first approved by the Court as fair.

Yes. If you have not lodged an insurance claim, you should.

Gordon Legal can help you with this if you call us on (03) 9603 3000 or by visiting us online at

The claims that insurers have so far paid for business interruption represent a very small minority of the total claims.
The insurers are likely to ask you to provide evidence about things that you will not be able to provide.

The insurers also do not accept that you are entitled to coverage for the March 2020 lockdown. We think you might be and this will be one of the issues that is tested in the class action.

Gordon Legal’s opinion is that the fairest way to resolve these claims is for the Court to make a decision, rather than trusting that insurers will do the right thing.
We don’t think that insurers have been doing the right thing by their customers to date, and we think that is unlikely to change. If you agree, you should register.

We are concerned the people who settle with their insurers early may not get all of the compensation they are entitled to. If you register, there is nothing preventing you from lodging an insurance claim and having it assessed by your insurer.

Business interruption insurance provides cover for business owners if their business is not able to operate normally, arising from factors outside your control.

There are different types of business interruption cover, some of which may cover losses relating to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia and/or the restrictions on trading imposed by the various State, Territory and Federal Government agencies arising from COVID-19.

Gordon Legal and Berrill & Watson will provide you with a free and no obligation initial assessment of whether you are able to make a claim against your insurer and if so, how you should do so.

There are many common features across individual insurance policies and within policies. However, there are also some differences which need to be understood. Obtaining independent legal advice is critical to business owners understanding their entitlements.    

Gordon Legal is offering to review your insurance policy and provide free preliminary advice. Once you receive that advice you can decide whether to proceed or not – there will be no obligation on you to proceed or to instruct Gordon Legal to act on your behalf.

To receive free legal advice regarding your entitlements, you may:

  1. Register your interest (include a link to register your interest page) with Gordon Legal;
  2. Send a copy of your insurance policy and any correspondence from your insurer or broker to;
  3. A member of our team will contact you shortly after receiving your registration.

Business interruption insurance provides cover for business owners if their business is not able to operate normally, arising from factors outside your control.

There are different types of business interruption cover, some of which may cover losses relating to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia and/or the restrictions on trading imposed by the various State, Terrtory and Federal Government agencies arising from COVID-19.

If you have an “industrial special risk” or “business insurance” policy, you are very likely to have business interruption cover included as part of those policies. If you are unsure whether your policy provides business interruption cover, contact us and we can check for you

There are generally two types of business interruption cover which are relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak. These are:

a) “infectious diseases” cover; and
b) “prevention of access” cover.

There may also be types of cover that are a combination of both.

“Infectious diseases” clauses cover interruption to business caused by the closure or evacuation of the business due to an outbreak of an infectious disease at or within a defined geographic radius of the business.

“Prevention of access” clauses cover interruption to business caused by an order of an authority or government body that prevents or hinders the use of or access to the business. The order must usually be made because of damage to property or persons at or within a defined geographic radius of the business.

Many business owners have had their business interruption insurance claims rejected by their insurers or have been told by their insurer that the policy don’t cover them.

We believe that many of these insurers have simply got that wrong and the information they have given business owners may be misleading and/or inaccurate.

It is crucial that you seek independent legal advice on your entitlements under your policy. Contact us and we can review your policy terms and how they may impact your claim for COVID-19 business interruption.

Yes. There are a number of avenues open to you to dispute your insurer’s rejection of your claim. For more information, contact us and we can provide you with the guidance you need.

You may have an exclusion in your policy for diseases declared to be either:

  1. a “quarantinable disease” under the Quarantine Act; or
  2. a “listed human disease” under the Biosecurity Act; or
  3. a combination of both of the above.

Some policies have no exclusion clause at all.

Contact us and we will check whether your policy has any exclusion clause and, if so, whether the exclusion would impact your claim.

The Quarantine Act 1908 was the legislation that governed Australia’s biosecurity powers. It allowed the federal government to declare certain diseases to be “quarantinable diseases” and take action in response to the biosecurity threat imposed by those diseases.

The Quarantine Act was repealed on 16 June 2016 and replaced by the Biosecurity Act 2015. The Biosecurity Act broadened the government’s biosecurity powers and allowed it to declare certain diseases to be “listed human diseases”.

The relevance of the two Acts to business interruption claims is that COVID-19 was declared to be a “listed human disease” under the Biosecurity Act, but was never declared to be a “quarantinable disease” under the Quarantine Act because the Quarantine Act was no longer in force when COVID-19 arrived in Australia.

Many business interruption policies had an exclusion for quarantinable diseases under the Quarantine Act, but insurers failed to update the policy wording when the Quarantine Act was repealed and replaced by the Biosecurity Act. Those insurers that failed to do so may be liable to pay claims for COVID-19 losses as a result.

For your claim to be successful, you may need to prove some or all of the following::

  1. There has been an outbreak of COVID-19 at or within a certain geographic radius of your business;
  2. There has been an order that closes or partially closes your business;
  3. There has been a decline in your business income because of the outbreak or order(s).

The specific requirements of a claim will vary depending on your individual policy terms and on the type of business you have.

If your claim has been rejected by your insurer, you need to get independent legal advice about your right to challenge that decision. There are a number of different avenues available to you to pursue in order to challenge your insurer’s decision.

We expect that insurers will seek to delay the claims process for as long as possible, or at least until the various legal challenges in relation to the validity of these policies and the relevant exclusion clauses have run their course. This may take many months. In the meantime, it is critical that you obtain advice to assist you in understanding your entitlements, whether and how to lodge a claim and what to do if your claim is rejected by your insurer.

If you have a lawyer who has experience in insurance claims, they will be able to help you. Gordon Legal is working in collaboration with Berrill Watson to ensure that we are able to provide clients with the assistance they need to both understand their legal entitlements and pursue them successfully, including, if necessary through litigation.

Provide advice on your entitlements to claim, how you should do so and give you advice on how to successful pursue your entitlements.

Your policy schedule will set out the amount of cover you hold for business interruption. Your schedule may also have a sub-limit for the amount of loss you can claim under the infectious diseases or prevention of access clauses in your policy.

Generally, losses can be calculated by comparing your reduced business turnover since the COVID-19 outbreak with the turnover during the same period in the previous year. Although this may vary depending on your insurer.

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