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The University of Southampton

LAWS6167 Marine Insurance

Module Overview

London has a strong marine insurance and reinsurance market. The English law developed by the market and by the judiciary have influenced the legal principles of marine insurance globally. This module considers the main legal principles set out in the codifying legislation of the Marine Insurance Act 1906 and the further developments of English law through cases. Moreover, the law is in constant development and change and the English and Scottish Law commissions have long been working on reform of insurance law principles in the UK. In the Marine Insurance course we also touch upon the Law Commissions’ work and the reforms that have been achieved so far. In addition, the module focuses on specific types of marine cover which a ship owner will usually obtain, most notably property and collision liability insurance under a hull and machinery policy; liability insurance from a P & I Club and also the range of cover which cargo interests may obtain. The key standard form contracts used in the London market are analysed and evaluated. Lastly the London reinsurance market is considered.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The main principles which govern the contractual obligations arising under marine insurance contracts and when they terminate including.
  • The main policies and values underpinning the law relating to marine insurance.
  • Existing areas of debate about what the law is and what it ought to be, both in England and internationally.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse relevant legal materials, including statutes, case law and the modern standard form marine insurance contracts.
  • Identify and describe key legal and policy issues in their commercial and political contexts.
  • Apply marine insurance law principles, with appropriate legal authorities, in the solution of complex practical problems.
  • Draft legal advice based upon such problems.
  • Appraise and criticise existing debates in England and international maritime law, using appropriate legal research skills.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Undertake independent research and access primary and secondary sources effectively.
  • Analyse complex written texts and evaluate different types of arguments.
  • Construct arguments and solve problems based on premises drawn from various sources.
  • Communicate arguments in writing and reference sources appropriately.


The module covers three main areas: (1) Formation of insurance contracts Including insurable interest and the duties of marine insurance brokers (2) Terms of insurance contracts Including: construction of insurance contracts, the duty of utmost good faith, marine insurance warranties, insurance conditions, the premium (3) Recovery under marine insurance policies Including: fraudulent claims; subrogation; causation and marine perils; actual, constructive and partial losses; sue and labour

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods: One 2-hour class per week (three-weekly cycle of two 2-hour lectures and one 2-hour seminar) Learning activities include: • Preparing tutorial sheets in advance of the tutorials so that you will be able to participate in class discussions. • Individual study/research in advance of lectures • Accessing online resources. • Formative assessments (an essay and a mock exam)

Independent Study256
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Colinvauz and Merkin . Colinvauz and Merkin's Insurance Contract Law . 

Rose. Marine Insurance Law and Practice . 

Colinvaux. Colinvaux's Law of Insurance . 

Lowry, Rawlings and Merkin . Insurance Law Doctrines and Principles. 

Gilman and Merkin . Arnould's Law of Marine Insurance and Average . 

Gurses  (2015). Marine Insurance Law . 



Formative Assessment


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (3.5 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (3.5 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (3.5 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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