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The University of Southampton
Insurance Law Research Group

Insurance law reform

The ongoing reforms of English insurance law are followed with great interest by the Insurance Law Research Group.

The law of insurance is based on centuries old principles and business practices, not all of which are relevant in modern society. Consumer insurance law recently underwent a paradigmatic shift with the entry into force of the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012. Business insurance is set to follow when the Law Commission completes its insurance law reform project in 2015. At the same time, the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 is likely to enter into force. The ILRG's contribution to that enactment is featured in a link on the right.

At Southampton we have followed the work on legislative reform from the very beginning and analyse the consequences in consultation responses, reports and published articles. For a list of publications to date, go to eprints

We have also organised some major conferences on this theme. On 16 April 2012, the Insurance Law Research Group under the leadership of Aysegul Bugra organised the first far-reaching academic conference on insurance law in UK. With the generous sponsorship of Modern Law Review, the "Insurance Contract Law Reform Conference" was held at the London offices of Norton Rose LLP with the participation of many academics and guest speakers from UK and abroad. Academic views in respect of the Law Commission's recent proposals on insurance contract law were discussed in the presentations and panel discussions which were highly interactive thanks to a dynamic participation from the audience. The inaugural speech of the conference was delivered by Professor Rob Merkin and sessions were chaired by postgraduate research students from the Insurance Law Research Group.

The papers from the event were published in a Special Edition: Insurance Law of the Journal of Business Law, Issue 1, 2013. The issue includes papers by Kate Lewins (Murdoch University), Brian Harris (Nottingham Trent University), Ozlem Gurses, David Chalk (University of Winchester), Gerald Swaby (University of Huddersfield), Johanna Hjalmarsson and James Davey.

On 26 June 2012, the academic conference was followed by an event for practitioners entitled "Whither Insurance Contract Law Reform?", organised jointly by the British Insurance Law Association, the Law Commission and the University of Southampton and held at Willis. The whole day conference was chaired by Lord Justice Rix and Lord Justice Aikens and the speakers included Law Commissioner David Hertzell, among others. Professor Rob Merkin delivered a speech entitled "Whether the Proposals Go Far Enough".

I want to know if I look up a whole lot of books about some form of cancer that that's not going to get to my insurance company and I'm going to find my insurance premium is going to go up by 5% because they've figured I'm looking at those books.

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