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LAW OF INSURANCE

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This PDF contains succinct yet detailed Key-Points on the Law of Insurance. The contents are in line with outlines of Nigerian Universities (Faculties of Law) and recommended textbooks. This PDF note is for providing a quick grasp / understanding for Students and Practitioners.

Description

PREVIEW LAW OF INSURANCE.

HISTORY

NATURE, CHARACTERISTICS AND DEFINITION OF INSURANCE.

PARTIES TO THE CONTRACT OF INSURANCE.

INSURABLE INTEREST IN LIFE INSURANCE.

FORMATION OF THE CONTRACT OF INSURANCE.

THE DOCTRINE OF UTMOST GOOD FAITH UBERRIMAE FIDEI.

INSURANCE INTERMEDIARIES.

WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS.

INTERPRETATION/CONSTRUCTION OF INSURANCE POLICIES.

RISK AND CAUSATION.

ASSIGNMENT

SETTLEMENT OF INSURANCE CLAIMS.

SUBROGATION.

CONTRIBUTION AND DOUBLE INSURANCE.

MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE.

SETTLEMENT OF INSURANCE CLAIMS UNDER THE INSURANCE ACT.

STATUTORY REGULATION OF INSURANCE BUSINESS.

LAW OF INSURANCE.

Please consult Professor C.K Agomo’s, Modern Nigerian Law of Insurance wherein the principles and facts of cases are well explained.

HISTORY.

A walk through the sands of time would reveal the -practices of early 12th century Italian merchants, -the 14th century marine insurance business in Genoa Italy, -the informal insurance at Lloyd’s coffee house in London, -the Great Fire of London 1666 and -the Industrial Revolution and so on. These (in one way or the other) contributed to the development of insurance being one of the exigent mechanisms to cater for risks which were inevitable.

Pre-colonial Nigeria practiced mutual insurance. Where under various customs, members of the family or the family come to the financial aid of a member in times of calamity.

The modern concept of insurance was introduced into Nigeria by the British Colonialists with the Royal Exchange Assurance Company being the first to open its office in 1921… others followed. By independence (1960), there were about 25 insurance companies in existence in Nigeria. The insurance regime was largely unregulated until 1961 when the Insurance Companies Act was enacted. The Act required compliance with sound insurance principles and registration with the Registrar of insurance with a paid up capital of not less than E25,000 and E50,000 for indigenous and foreign insurance companies respectively. The case of State V Daboh, illustrated the shortcomings of the 1961 act in terms of enforceability and punishment. The Insurance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act amended the 1961 Act and introduced investment of insurance funds.

Then came the Insurance Act of 1976 which added the requirement of registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act-Section 3.

Then came the 1991 Insurance Decree which added the requirement that no one person can hold more than 25 percent of an insurance company’s shares. It also recognized NIICON and Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation. Section 37 of the 1991 Act also provided for the payment of a premium for a valid and binding contract of insurance.

In 1997 the Insurance Act and National Insurance Commission Act were enacted as regulatory law and body respectively.

Then came the Insurance Act of 2003 which (together with the National Insurance Commission Act) regulates the insurance industry in Nigeria till date (2015).

In conclusion, the various legislations sought to ensure a sound and viable insurance industry and protect the interest of policy holders.

NATURE, CHARACTERISTICS AND DEFINITION OF INSURANCE.

The idea behind insurance is to ameliorate rather than prevent lossPrudential Insurance Co V Inland Revenue Commissioner. More like a fallback mechanism rather than a loss prevention mechanism.

Characteristics:

  1. Uncertainty: Insurance is a contingent contract which depends on the happening of an uncertain event. There can be no insurance if the event is certain to occur except the time of occurrence is uncertain-University of Nigeria Nsukka V Turner and Sons and Anor.
  2. Insurable interest: The insured must have a stake/concern in the subject matter of insurance which is susceptible to loss or damage. He should be adversely affected if the subject matter is destroyed/lost. This is what separates insurance from wager-Tomlinson V Hepburn. In UNN V Turner and sons, their contract lacked this element.
  3. Uberima Fidei: because of its uncertain nature, the parties are required to disclose all material facts within their knowledge.
  4. Insurance intermediaries (agents and brokers) are used.

Definition: no widely accepted definition- Medical Defence Union V Department of Trade. In Prudential Insurance Co V Inland Revenue Commissioners, it was seen as an agreement to pay a sum of money upon the happening of an uncertain event after the payment of consideration (called premium).

A contract whereby the insurer agrees to indemnify the insured against loss upon the happening of an event after the payment of consideration called premium.-Charles Chime V United Nigeria Insurance (not verbatim).

Professor Agomo has noted that insurance is better described than strictly defined… it can be described as a contract whereby;

  • One party called the insurer.
  • For a consideration called premium.
  • Paid by another called the insured.
  • Agrees to pay money or provide compensation to the insured or his beneficiaries.
  • On the happening of the insured event.

The subject matter of insurance is anything capable of sustaining loss, damage, injury or death while the subject matter of the contract of insurance is money, services or benefit in kind like reinstatement or repair of the damaged subject matter of insurance. This distinction determines assignment, description of risk, and so on.

Insurance is generally classified into life and non-life insurance-Section 2 of the insurance Act 2003. There are further sub classifications.

PARTIES TO THE CONTRACT OF INSURANCE.

Capacity is the same as capacity for other commercial transactions. The rules relating to age mental capacity and authority must be satisfied.

The parties include:… DOWNLOAD PDF ABOVE