Non-disclosure in contracts of marine insurance : a comparative overview

Derrington, Sarah C. (Sarah Catherine) (1995). Non-disclosure in contracts of marine insurance : a comparative overview Master's Thesis, T.C. Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland.

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Author Derrington, Sarah C. (Sarah Catherine)
Thesis Title Non-disclosure in contracts of marine insurance : a comparative overview
School, Centre or Institute T.C. Beirne School of Law
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1995-01-01
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Total pages 69
Language eng
Subjects 18 Law and Legal Studies
Formatted abstract

The central doctrines of English marine insurance law were formulated centuries ago and were more or less settled by the end of the 18th century thus allowing for their codification in the Marine Insurance Act 1906 (UK). In particular the law relating to non-disclosure was authoritatively formulated by Lord Mansfield in 1766 in Carter v. Boehm where his Lordship said:-

• Insurance is a contract upon speculation. The special facts, upon which the contingent chance is to be computed, lie most  commonly in the knowledge of the insured only: the underwriter trusts to his representation, and proceeds upon confidence  that he does not keep back any circumstance in his knowledge, to mislead the underwriter into a belief that the circumstance  does not exist, and to induce him to estimate the risque, as if it did not exist.

• The keeping back such circumstance is a fraud, and therefore the policy is void. Although the suppression should happen  through mistake, without any fraudulent intention; yet still the underwriter is deceived, and the policy is void; because the  risque run is really different from the risque understood and intended to be run, at the time of the agreement.

• The policy would equally be void, against the underwriter, if he concealed; as, if he insured a ship on her voyage, which  he privately knew to be arrived; and an action would lie to recover the premium. 

For more than 200 years it has been the case in English law that if an assured fails to disclose a "material circumstance" to the insurer, the insurer may avoid the contract of insurance. The English position has been followed in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and also in the United States.   ..............................
Keyword Disclosure of information -- Law and legislation
Marine insurance

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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