Survey of members reveals overwhelming support for law reform

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A survey of Airmic members has revealed huge support for proposed reform to the legal framework surrounding commercial insurance.

More than 95% of those who responded backed plans by the Law Commission to make disclosure requirements clearer and proportionate to the size of the company seeking cover.

Airmic has been calling for changes to be made for several years. The association was buoyed by a white paper, published by the Law Commission this summer, which proposed a reform of the Marine Insurance Act 1906 to ease disclosure requirements on insurance buyers.

In the survey, 96% of Airmic members supported reform of the Marine Insurance Act, which to this day still forms the basis of the legal framework for commercial insurance.

Some 95% agreed that the concept of material circumstance and knowledge should be clarified in legislation. The same amount felt an insurer should be unable to use non-disclosure as a reason for not paying a claim if they have failed take care to ask the right questions.

A further 94% thought that in order to obtain a remedy for non-disclosure or misrepresentation, the insurer should have to demonstrate either that the information would have affected the terms of the policy or resulted in cover being declined.

“The level of support for Airmic’s position gives added weight to our representations,” Airmic technical director Paul Hopkin said. “The survey shows clearly that risk managers acknowledge that they have responsibilities as well, but that they feel the law is currently one-sided.”