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Cover Commercial Law

Additional Chapter Principles of Insurance Law  

Put broadly, insurance is a contractual process whereby risk is transferred from a person who might incur a loss to an insurer. Whilst insurance law is at root merely an example of applied contract, in fact it has some unique characteristics and practices and a terminology all of its own. In this chapter we will consider the key characteristics of insurance law. After examining the meaning of insurance, including the concepts of indemnity and insurable interest in liability and property insurance, we move to the structure of insurance policies. The ways the courts have interpreted insurance wordings and insurance warranties, conditions precedent, and basis of the contract clauses are dealt with before the extensive reforms wrought by the Insurance Act 2015 are introduced. Insurance policies, even so-called all risks policies, do not cover all causes of loss which an insured might suffer, so the concept of causation in insurance is particularly important and this is dealt with next. The chapter closes by reviewing insurance claims, including the effect of fraudulent claims, how the level of disclosure expected of an insured is far higher than in a non-insurance context, and how these issues have been the subject of substantial reform under the newInsurance Act.