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A Critical Evaluation of the Duty of Disclosure in Marine Insurance - A comparative study of English and Nordic law

Ryrberg, Erik LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract
The duty of disclosure is a system of rules applied during the period up until an insurance policy is concluded. In order to ascertain that the insurer gets all the information he needs to properly evaluate the risk, the prospective assured is under a duty to disclose all material circumstances regarding the risk. This duty has caused a great number of lawsuits in the UK, while there have hardly been any litigation on the matter in the Nordic countries. This thesis will highlight the main differences in the duty of disclosure in marine insurance, between the Nordic and the UK legal systems. As the Norwegian Marine Insurance Plan has transformed into a Nordic Marine Insurance Plan, many of the Marine Insurance Acts in common law countries... (More)
The duty of disclosure is a system of rules applied during the period up until an insurance policy is concluded. In order to ascertain that the insurer gets all the information he needs to properly evaluate the risk, the prospective assured is under a duty to disclose all material circumstances regarding the risk. This duty has caused a great number of lawsuits in the UK, while there have hardly been any litigation on the matter in the Nordic countries. This thesis will highlight the main differences in the duty of disclosure in marine insurance, between the Nordic and the UK legal systems. As the Norwegian Marine Insurance Plan has transformed into a Nordic Marine Insurance Plan, many of the Marine Insurance Acts in common law countries are going under its first revisions in a hundred years and there will be a discussion on the likely development within the coming few years.

Initially, the thesis will provide an overview of the English Marine Insurance Act, 1906 and the Nordic Marine Insurance Plan of 2013. The reader will be given a brief summary of the two sets of rules and how they have developed. Following the introductory chapters, there will be a more detailed description of how the duty of disclosure is regulated, and what the main differences are between the UK and the Nordic approach. As will be demonstrated, the UK system is more insurer friendly than its Nordic counterpart is. Furthermore, the remedy system under the UK Act is more rigid and may come out harsh on an assured who has failed to fulfil his duties. These, among others, are the differences that will be discussed for the purpose of the comparative analysis. The final part of the thesis will provide some examples of what the UK Law Commission has pointed out as areas in need of modification. Among the conclusions can be mentioned the lack of balance in the Marine Insurance Act, 1906, that are giving the insurers an incentive to claim breach of pre-contractual duties. This might be one of the main reasons to the high number of litigation mentioned above. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Upplysningsplikten ålägger den som vill teckna försäkring att förse försäkringsbolaget med relevant information rörande risken. Anledningen till att en sådan skyldighet finns är att den typen av information i många fall finns hos den som vill teckna försäkring. Upplysningsplikten har varit orsaken till en stor mängd domstolsprövningar i Storbritannien medan den i de nordiska länderna knappt har varit uppe till prövning. Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att belysa de viktigaste skillnaderna mellan Storbritanniens och Nordens rättsystem när det gäller upplysningsplikten i marina försäkringsavtal. Medan den Norska Sjöförsäkringsplanen har förvandlats till en Nordisk Sjöförsäkringsplan, genomgår de marina försäkringsavtalslagarna i många common... (More)
Upplysningsplikten ålägger den som vill teckna försäkring att förse försäkringsbolaget med relevant information rörande risken. Anledningen till att en sådan skyldighet finns är att den typen av information i många fall finns hos den som vill teckna försäkring. Upplysningsplikten har varit orsaken till en stor mängd domstolsprövningar i Storbritannien medan den i de nordiska länderna knappt har varit uppe till prövning. Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att belysa de viktigaste skillnaderna mellan Storbritanniens och Nordens rättsystem när det gäller upplysningsplikten i marina försäkringsavtal. Medan den Norska Sjöförsäkringsplanen har förvandlats till en Nordisk Sjöförsäkringsplan, genomgår de marina försäkringsavtalslagarna i många common law system sina första revisioner på etthundra år. Den pågående utvecklingen kommer att diskuteras och kommenteras i denna uppsatts.

Inledningsvis kommer den brittiska Marine Insurance Act, 1906 och den Nordiska Sjöförsäkringsplanen av 2013 att beskrivas. En historisk bakgrund följs av en kort översikt över de två regelverken. Därefter kommer en mer ingående beskrivning av hur reglerna kring upplysninsplikten är utformade och de två regelverkens skillnader och likheter kommer att illustreras. Det kommer här bli tydligt att de brittiska reglerna är mer gynsamma för försäkringsbolagen och kan i vissa fall ålägga försäkringstagaren nästan orimliga konsekvenser vid brott mot upplysningsplikten. Detta är några av de skillnaderna som diskuteras i den jämförande analysen.

Avslutningsvis kommer läsaren få en kortare introduktion till de förändringar som den brittiska Law Commission har pekat ut som de viktigaste att genomföra. Bland slutsatserna märks bland annat hur de fördelar som den brittiska lagstiftningen innebär för försäkringsbolagen kan vara en starkt bidragande orsak till den stora mängden domstolsfall som har observerats. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ryrberg, Erik LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Maritime law, Insurance law, Comparative law, Duty of Disclosure, Misrepresentation, Warranty, Alteration of Risk
language
English
id
3363014
date added to LUP
2013-05-13 12:53:05
date last changed
2013-05-13 12:53:05
@misc{3363014,
  abstract     = {The duty of disclosure is a system of rules applied during the period up until an insurance policy is concluded. In order to ascertain that the insurer gets all the information he needs to properly evaluate the risk, the prospective assured is under a duty to disclose all material circumstances regarding the risk. This duty has caused a great number of lawsuits in the UK, while there have hardly been any litigation on the matter in the Nordic countries. This thesis will highlight the main differences in the duty of disclosure in marine insurance, between the Nordic and the UK legal systems. As the Norwegian Marine Insurance Plan has transformed into a Nordic Marine Insurance Plan, many of the Marine Insurance Acts in common law countries are going under its first revisions in a hundred years and there will be a discussion on the likely development within the coming few years. 

Initially, the thesis will provide an overview of the English Marine Insurance Act, 1906 and the Nordic Marine Insurance Plan of 2013. The reader will be given a brief summary of the two sets of rules and how they have developed. Following the introductory chapters, there will be a more detailed description of how the duty of disclosure is regulated, and what the main differences are between the UK and the Nordic approach. As will be demonstrated, the UK system is more insurer friendly than its Nordic counterpart is. Furthermore, the remedy system under the UK Act is more rigid and may come out harsh on an assured who has failed to fulfil his duties. These, among others, are the differences that will be discussed for the purpose of the comparative analysis. The final part of the thesis will provide some examples of what the UK Law Commission has pointed out as areas in need of modification. Among the conclusions can be mentioned the lack of balance in the Marine Insurance Act, 1906, that are giving the insurers an incentive to claim breach of pre-contractual duties. This might be one of the main reasons to the high number of litigation mentioned above.},
  author       = {Ryrberg, Erik},
  keyword      = {Maritime law,Insurance law,Comparative law,Duty of Disclosure,Misrepresentation,Warranty,Alteration of Risk},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Critical Evaluation of the Duty of Disclosure in Marine Insurance - A comparative study of English and Nordic law},
  year         = {2012},
}