When a fire damages or destroys a home and its contents, which party has the burden of proving that the fire was not caused by a firebug? In this case, the primary judge held that it was the insured, and that she had not discharged that burden. On appeal, this decision was reversed.

The wording of the NRMA insurance contract created a general obligation on NRMA to indemnify the insured, subject to particular exceptions, one of which was ‘fire started with the intention of causing damage’. All that the insured had to prove was that a fire damaged her home and contents. NRMA bore the onus of proving the loss fell within the exception.

You can access the reasons for judgment here.