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The Wayne Tank Principle, more than one cause, the wording of exclusion clauses and flooding

Wiesac Pty Ltd v Insurance Australia Limited [2018] QSC 123

The Wayne Tank principle operates with the effect that insurers may avoid liability where there are multiple causes of damage and only one of these causes of damage falls within an exclusion clause under the policy. In rejecting the Plaintiffs’ claims following flooding in the Brisbane CBD in January 2011 his Honour Justice Davis pointed out that insurers cannot simply rely on the Wayne Tank principle and they must consider the application of the contractual intentions of the parties and in particular the wording of the exclusion itself before relying on Wayne Tank to decline a claim.

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