Saturday, February 14, 2015

Proposed changes to the Marine Insurance Act of 1906?

What happens to uberrimae fidei in the United States when the UK Parliament amends the Marine Insurance Act of 1906?

According to Business Insurance, Insurance Bill, HL2014-15, was introduced in the House of Lords, the U.K. Parliament's upper chamber, in late July 2014. It is expected by the Law Commission and industry experts to receive royal assent — by which Queen Elizabeth II signs it into law — by March 2015 and go into effect soon thereafter. The bill would reform measures contained in the Marine Insurance Act 1906 that applies to commercial insurance contracts written in the United Kingdom. The legislation would change current practices that include insurers being able to avoid paying claims if any part of an insurance submission contains a misrepresentation — even if that information is not pertinent to the claim.

In February 2015, the House of Commons unanimously passed the Insurance Bill that will update the Marine Insurance Act 1906.

In the United States, the rule has no statutory foundation. It is instead based on two centuries of case law. Congress could amend the federal maritime law; however, there has never been much enthusiasm in Congress for changes to the maritime law that were not backed by the entire marine industry.

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