In my series of blogs on the lesser known provisions of the Insurance Contracts Act, I have been looking at those provisions which have redefined the notion of an insurable interest.
The short point is that the Act considers there to be a sufficient interest to claim indemnity under a contract of insurance if there is a link between the loss suffered and the damage to the subject matter of that contract.
Section 20 takes this process of redefinition one step further. It provides that those who benefit under the contract do not necessarily have to be named in the contract. Obviously the Insured will be named in the contract. More often than not the contract will also name other parties who are entitled to benefit under it.
But the point which Section 20 makes is that if you have suffered loss because the subject matter of the contract has been damaged, the fact that you have not been named is not fatal to your claim for indemnity.
In this way Section 20 compliments the work which Sections 16 and 17 do in redefining the concept of an insurable interest under Australian law. The key is the link between the loss and the damaged subject matter of the contract.
In many ways the Act is a triumph of substance over form. Section 20 illustrates that triumph.