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Wednesday, 9 May 1984
Page: 1868


Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(6.43) —I am not in a position in which I can agree to the Opposition's amendment, but, particularly in the light of what Senator Jack Evans has just said, I do not think I would be willing to die in a ditch for it. The reality is that the Government prefers the specific formula that was devised and recommended by the Law Reform Commission but it does acknowledge that the industry has indicated no great problem so far as contribution among its members is concerned and does not want any particular regulation of those arrangements so far as its own interests are concerned. What the Opposition's proposed amendment does is restate the existing law so far as the insured's position is concerned whereby the insured can claim the amount of the loss from any insurer he chooses, leaving the question of contribution to the insurers to sort out among themselves. As I have said, the Government would prefer the original clause, as amended, but it acknowledges that this amendment does not do any great damage to the concept of the Insurance Contracts Bill as the Government has advanced it and will bear, with such fortitude as it can, being rolled on this clause.

Amendment negatived.

Motion (by Senator Archer) agreed to:

(7) Pages 29 and 30, clause 76, leave out the clause, insert the following clause:

'76. When 2 or more insurers are liable under separate contracts of general insurance to the same insured in respect of the same loss the insured shall be entitled immediately to recover the loss from any 1 or more of those insurers as is necessary to fully satisfy the loss without prejudice to the rights of that insurer or those insurers to contribution from the other insurers liable in respect of the same loss.'.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 77 agreed to.

Clause 78 (Regulations).