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Rural fires and insurance

Published: 18th August 2016

Author: Sarah Heald, Dorrington Poole

Published in: Rural e.Speaking | Issue #21

In a recent High Court case[³) the New Zealand Fire Service Commission sued landowners for the cost of extinguishing a fire that spread from their property through a number of other properties in Canterbury. The High Court found in favour of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission for the total cost of $217,118.

At issue in the case was also whether any of the insurance policies held by Mr & Mrs Legg or their company included an obligation to indemnify Mr & Mrs Legg against the (successful) claim made by the fire service. The court found the Leggs (and their company) were entitled to be indemnified by their respective insurance companies for the amount which they were required to pay.

It is important that not only you manage the risks associated with fires, but also that you examine your insurance policies carefully.

[³)New Zealand Fire Service Commission v Legg [2016] NZHC1492

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