Young v Tower Insurance – costs


Mr Young and his co trustees had previously obtained a judgment against Tower Insurance on 7 December 2016 that their house was a rebuild at a cost of $1,620,887 together with general damages of $5ooo for Tower not providing a report.  The owners then asked the Court to order Tower to pay costs of $93,194 and disbursements of $102,259.91 (witness expenses and court fees).  This was said to be less than two thirds of the owners actual legal costs.  Tower said that any costs ought to be reduced significantly because the the owners had extended the hearing time with unnecessary allegations and not succeeded with the deliberate wrongdoing allegations.  The Court in the judgment Young & ors v Tower Insurance Ltd [2017] NZHC 482 said that the owners were the successful party even though they did not get everything they asked for.  It reduced the costs award by one day of hearing time for unsuccesful allegations about Tower wrongdoing.  It increased the award to 2C for witness statements, bundle and trial preparation.  Ultimately the Court ordered Tower pay costs of $89,849 and disbursements of $98,874.91.  It did not order Tower to pay any costs on the costs application.