Section 601AG of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) permits a person to recover, from the insurer of a deregistered company, an amount payable under an insurance contract immediately before deregistration. The issue in this case was whether an action under s 601AG was governed by the time limit applicable to the underlying cause of action.

The respondent was injured in the course of employment and claimed damages against his employer, a company that who was subsequently deregistered. The respondent instituted proceedings under s 601AG against the employer’s insurer, Allianz. Allianz argued the claim was statute barred, as the applicable limitation period was the limitation period of the underlying cause of action. On appeal, the court agreed, concluding that s 601AG preserves the plaintiff’s position by avoiding unjust profit to the insurer, but does not enhance the plaintiff’s position at the insurer’s expense. However, the court noted that, where the limitation period applicable to a s 601AG claim had expired, a plaintiff might have recourse to s 601AH and seek reinstatement of the deregistered company with a direction that the period of time between deregistration and reinstatement not be counted for the purposes of the limitation period.

You can access the reasons for judgment here.