The Legal 500: Insurance And Reinsurance Comparative Guide 2019

Author:Ms Elizabeth Bothwell, Jennifer McCarthy, David O'Donohoe and Catherine Wolfe
Profession:Arthur Cox
  1. How is the writing of insurance contracts regulated in your jurisdiction?

There is no statutory definition of a contract of insurance under Irish law. The law in relation to insurance contracts in Ireland is primarily governed by common law principles, the origins of which can be found in case law. The Irish courts have addressed this issue on a case by case basis. The decision of the English courts in Prudential Insurance Company v Inland Revenue Commissioners [1904] 2 KB 658, which sets out the elements of an insurance contract, is the seminal English case in this area and is of persuasive authority in Ireland. The cumulative test in the Prudential case can be summarised as follows:

The contract must provide that the insured, in return for consideration, will become entitled to something on the occurrence of some event. The event must be one that involves an element of uncertainty. The insured must have an insurable interest in the subject matter of the contract. The Central Bank of Ireland (the "Central Bank") is responsible for the prudential regulation of (re)insurers and intermediaries operating in Ireland. The Central Bank regulates the pursuit of (re)insurance business, rather than simply the issuance of insurance contracts. An insurer must seek authorisation for the specific classes of insurance business it intends to underwrite. There are 18 classes of non life insurance business and nine classes of life insurance business as set out in Schedules 1 and 2 of the European Union (Insurance and Reinsurance) Regulations 2015 (the...

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