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Taylor v Asteron Life Ltd [2019] NZHC 2939

Christine Meechan QC appeared together with Anja Borchardt for Asteron Life in this case involving entitlement to a “total disability” benefit under an income protection policy. Asteron not only successfully defended the insured’s claim for ongoing benefit entitlements, but succeeded in its counterclaim for repayment of  all benefits paid over the 4 years that Mr Taylor had been on claim. The Court found that the plaintiff had dishonestly misrepresented his level of work activity during that time and that Asteron was entitled to get its money back. The case reinforces the significance of an insured’s duty of good faith and, importantly, confirms the application of the Contract and Commercial Law Act’s  cancellation provisions to insurance contracts.