Insurance Law

Reform of the Insurance Law of England and Wales—Separate Laws for the Different Needs of Businesses and Consumers

This Article examines the English and Scottish Law Commissions’ ongoing review of insurance contract law and the demand for its reform.  The difference between insurance law in England and the United States is important in order to understand the possible recommendations for reform.  The Article summarizes the reforms made to date to consumer insurance law and the recommendations likely to be made regarding disclosures, warranties, and consequential damages for business insurance.  The Article concludes that the reforms made to consumer insurance law are not appropriate for business insurance, that the case for reform is not made, and that such reform could likely be harmful.

Direct Actions, Declaratory Actions, Abstention, Interpleaders, and Other Practical Considerations

Marine practitioners must be aware of the issues that may arise when dealing with potential claims in the marine insurance context.  In some jurisdictions, both in the United States and abroad, plaintiffs may join the insurer in the lawsuit and seek recovery directly, rather than only through the insured.  In most jurisdictions, the plaintiff will likely prefer to have the case heard in state court, but the defendant will seek to have it in federal court.  To do this, the defendant may seek to remove the case once it is filed or to seek a declaratory action before the claim is made.  Additionally, when dealing with multiple potential claimants, the insurer may wish to file and interpleader and deposit the funds with the court.  This Article discusses these practical issues, and others, that may arise in a marine insurance claim.

The Central Role of P&I Insurance in Maritime Law

When a ship proceeds to sea, it is beset by danger on all sides. The scope of risks involved is just as vast as the ocean. They range from the most minor to the catastrophic. The focus of this Article is protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance, a form of coverage under which shipowners and charterers are protected against the risk of liability to third parties and which plays a central role in maritime law. This Article considers the extent to which courts in the United States enforce and give effect to P&I insurance, especially in situations where the shipowner is unable to meet its financial obligations or has gone into bankruptcy.

Offshore Energy Construction Insurance: Allocation of Risk Issues

The legal fallout from major offshore events such as the DEEPWATER HORIZON spill, PIPER ALPHA, and the grounding of the EXXON VALDEZ has resulted in extreme stress testing of liabilities allocation in upstream oil and gas project contracts.  The risks inherent in the offshore oil and gas industry are very large.  This Article examines how liability is shared during offshore construction projects, the standard insurance policy that is commonly used in respect of such risks, and a number of topical issues that parties engaged in such activity might bear in mind when they are negotiating contracts and insurance arrangements to protect their position.