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INSURANCE CONTRACTS ACT 1984 - SECT 11

Interpretation

             (1)  In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

"annual turnover" , of a body corporate during a 12-month period, means the sum of the values of all the supplies that the body corporate, and any body corporate related to the body corporate, have made, or are likely to make, during the 12-month period, other than:

                     (a)  supplies made from any of those bodies corporate to any other of those bodies corporate; or

                     (b)  supplies that are input taxed; or

                     (c)  supplies that are not for consideration (and are not taxable supplies under section 72-5 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 ); or

                     (d)  supplies that are not made in connection with an enterprise that the body corporate carries on; or

                     (e)  supplies that are not connected with Australia.

Expressions used in this definition that are also used in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 have the same meaning as in that Act.

"ASIC" means the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

"avoid" , in relation to a contract of insurance, means avoid from its inception.

"benefit derived and detriment avoided" because of an offence has the meaning given by section 75F.

"binder" means an authority given by an insurer to an insurance intermediary to enter into, as agent for the insurer, contracts of insurance on behalf of the insurer as insurer.

"broker's placing slip" means a document that:

                     (a)  is evidence of a contract of insurance; and

                     (b)  bears a notation by an insurer setting out the extent of the insurance cover that the insurer agrees to provide under the contract.

"business day" means a day that is not a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday or bank holiday.

"civil penalty provision" : a subsection of this Act (or a section of this Act that is not divided into subsections) is a civil penalty provision if:

                     (a)  the words "civil penalty" and one or more amounts in penalty units are set out at the foot of the subsection (or section); or

                     (b)  another provision of this Act specifies that the subsection (or section) is a civil penalty provision.

"consumer credit insurance" means insurance provided by a class of contracts of insurance:

                     (a)  that is declared by the regulations to be a class of contracts to which Division 1 of Part V of this Act applies; and

                     (b)  that is identified by those regulations as consumer credit insurance.

"consumer insurance contract" has the meaning given by section 11AB.

"continuous disability insurance policy" means a contract that is a continuous disability policy within the meaning of the Life Insurance Act 1995 .

"contract of life insurance" means a contract that constitutes a life policy within the meaning of the Life Insurance Act 1995 .

"contravention" :

                     (a)  in relation to an offence against a law--includes an ancillary offence relating to the offence against the law; and

                     (b)  in relation to a civil penalty provision--has a meaning affected by section 75Q.

"duty of disclosure" means the duty referred to in section 21.

"duty of the utmost good faith" means the duty referred to in subsection 13(1).

"duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation" means the duty referred to in section 20B.

"engage in conduct" means:

                     (a)  do an act; or

                     (b)  omit to perform an act.

"friendly society" means:

                     (a)  a body that is a friendly society for the purposes of the Life Insurance Act 1995 ; or

                     (b)  a body that is registered or incorporated as a friendly society under a law of a State or Territory; or

                     (c)  a body that is permitted, by a law of a State or Territory, to assume or use the expression friendly society ; or

                     (d)  a body that, immediately before the date that is the transfer date for the purposes of the Financial Sector Reform (Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1999 , was registered or incorporated as a friendly society under a law of a State or Territory.

"group life contract" means a contract of life insurance that is maintained for the purposes of:

                     (a)  a superannuation or retirement scheme under which there can be more than one life insured; or

                     (b)  another kind of group life scheme (including a scheme that is not related to employment) under which there can be more than one life insured.

"guardian" , in relation to a person who has not attained the age of 18 years, means a person who acts in the place of a parent of the person but does not include a person who so acts only for limited or particular purposes or periods.

"holder" has the same meaning as in the Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997 .

"infringement notice " means a notice given under section 75W.

"insurance broker" means a person who carries on the business of arranging contracts of insurance, whether in Australia or elsewhere, as agent for intending insureds.

"insurance intermediary" means a person who:

                     (a)  for reward; and

                     (b)  as an agent for one or more insurers or as an agent for intending insureds;

arranges contracts of insurance in Australia or elsewhere, and includes an insurance broker.

"insured and insurer" include a proposed insured and a proposed insurer, respectively.

"involved" , in relation to a contravention, has the same meaning as in the Corporations Act 2001 .

"life insured" includes a proposed life insured.

"payment period" , in relation to an infringement notice, has the meaning given by section 75Z.

"pecuniary penalty order" has the meaning given by subsection 75B(4).

"policy document" , in relation to a contract of insurance, means:

                     (a)  a document prepared by the insurer as evidence of the contract; or

                     (b)  a broker's placing slip that constitutes evidence of the contract;

and includes, in relation to an interim contract of insurance, a document of the kind usually known as a cover note prepared by the insurer or by an insurance intermediary with the authority of the insurer.

"proposal form" includes:

                     (a)  a document containing questions to which a person is asked to give answers (whether in the document or not), where the answers are intended (whether by the person who answered them, by the insurer or by some other person) to be used in connection with a proposed contract of insurance; and

                     (b)  a form relating to the proposed membership of a person of a superannuation, retirement or other group life scheme.

"relevant court" means:

                     (a)  the Federal Court of Australia; or

                     (b)  the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2); or

                     (c)  the Supreme Court of a State or Territory.

"relevant failure" , in relation to a contract of insurance, has the meaning given by section 27AA.

"RSA" has the same meaning as in the Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997 .

"RSA provider" has the same meaning as in the Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997 .

"subject to an infringement notice" , in relation to an offence provision or civil penalty provision, has the meaning given by section 75X.

"third party beneficiary" , under a contract of insurance, means a person who is not a party to the contract but is specified or referred to in the contract, whether by name or otherwise, as a person to whom the benefit of the insurance cover provided by the contract extends.

"this Act" includes the regulations.

"writing" means writing in the English language or in another language agreed between the insurer and the insured.

             (2)  For the purposes of this Act, an interim contract of insurance is a contract of insurance that is intended by the insurer:

                     (a)  to provide temporary insurance cover; and

                     (b)  to be replaced or superseded by another contract of insurance;

whether or not the contract is evidenced by a document of the kind usually known as a cover note.

             (4)  For the purposes of this Act:

                     (a)  a superannuation contract is a contract of life insurance that is being maintained for the purposes of a superannuation or retirement scheme, where the insured is a trustee for the purposes of the scheme; and

                     (b)  an individual superannuation contract is a superannuation contract as referred to in paragraph (a) under which there can be one life insured only.

             (6)  For the purposes of this Act, a contract of general insurance is a contract of insurance that is not a contract of life insurance.

             (7)  For the purposes of this Act, a contract of liability insurance is a contract of general insurance that provides insurance cover in respect of the insured's liability for loss or damage caused to a person who is not the insured.

             (8)  For the purposes of this Act, an instalment contract of general insurance is a contract of general insurance the premium for which is, by virtue of a provision of the contract, payable by 7 or more instalments in a year.

             (9)  Subject to subsection (10), a reference in this Act to the entering into of a contract of insurance includes a reference to:

                     (a)  in the case of a contract of life insurance--the making of an agreement by the parties to the contract to extend or vary the contract;

                     (b)  in the case of any other contract of insurance--the making of an agreement by the parties to the contract to renew, extend or vary the contract; or

                     (c)  the reinstatement of any previous contract of insurance.

           (10)  Notwithstanding subsection (9):

                     (a)  subject to paragraph (c), where, after the commencement of this Act and at or before the original entering into, or the renewal, extension or reinstatement, of a contract of insurance, the insurer has given information to the insured as required by section 22, 35, 37, 37C, 40, 44, 49 or 68, the requirement by that section to give information to the insured shall be deemed to be satisfied at or before any subsequent renewal, extension or reinstatement of the contract;

                     (b)  sections 22 and 40 do not require an insurer to give information to the insured at or before a variation of the relevant contract of insurance, unless subsection (10A) applies to the variation; and

                     (c)  sections 35, 37, 37C, 44, 49 and 68 require an insurer to give information to the insured at or before a variation of the relevant contract of insurance, but only to the extent that the information relates to the provision or provisions varied or proposed to be varied.

        (10A)  This subsection applies to a variation of a contract of insurance if:

                     (a)  the variation:

                              (i)  is involved in a renewal, extension or reinstatement of the contract; or

                             (ii)  will provide a kind of insurance cover that was not provided by the contract immediately before the variation; or

                            (iii)  in the case of a contract of life insurance--will increase a sum insured under the contract in respect of one or more of the life insureds; and

                     (b)  the variation is not an automatic variation but is required to be expressly agreed between the insurer and the insured before the contract is varied.

           (11)  Where a provision of this Act requires anything to be done before a particular contract is entered into, it is sufficient compliance with that provision if that thing is done at the time when the contract is entered into.



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