Warrenty Terms in the UK Insurance Act 2015: Fit for Purpose or Business as Usual?

AuthorOmotayo Akorede Samuel
PositionBA (Hons) Philosophy, Ekiti State University, Nigeria; LLB (Candidate), Bangor University, Wales, United Kingdom
[2017] 16 COLR 53
Omotayo Akorede Samuel*
The old law on warranty terms in insurance contracts in the United Kingdom is based on
principles developed in the 18th and 19th centuries and codified in the Marine Insurance Act
19061 (MIA 1906). However, there have been fundamental changes to this law in the UK with
the introduction of the Insurance Act 2015 (IA 2015) which came into force on 12 August 2016.
In the same vein, until now, Irish insurance law has largely mirrored English law, as most
insurance law was derived from the Marine Insurance Act 1906 and EU legislation. McClements
argues that the reason underpinning this rests in the fact that many Irish risks are written in the
London market and are frequently subject to English law; the UK reforms are therefore expected
to have a significant impact on the Irish insurance market.2 However, following the enactment of
the UK IA 2015, and the recent support, in principle, by the Irish Government, for the Consumer
Insurance Contracts Bill 2015 (CICB) which has just passed the second stage in Dáil, insurance
law in the United Kingdom and Ireland is set to be significantly controlled under different
regime, with each reforms retaining similar provisions.3
The need to consider these reforms cannot be more important. There is the argument that the old
law on warranty terms has been tarnished. John Hare, for instance, submitted that the ‘toxic’
English warranty term be consigned to the obscurity where it belonged.4 Macgregor, following
the UK Law Commission, has echoed similar sentiments stating that the Marine Insurance Act
*BA (Hons) Philosophy, Ekiti State University, Nigeria; LLB (Candidate), Bangor University, Wales, United
1 Marine Insurance Act 1906, s 33 41.
2 April McClements, ‘Irish Insurance Market to be affected by Upcoming UK Reform’ (International Law Office, 2
February 2016) <http://www.internationallawoffice.com/Newsletters/Insurance/Ireland/Matheson/Irish-insurance-
market-to-be-affected-by-upcoming-UK-reform> accessed 9 March 2017.
3 Irish Legal News, ‘Dail to co nsider reform of consumer insurance contracts law’ (Irish Legal News, 10 February
2017) <http://www.irishlegal.com/6408/dail-to-consider-reform-of-consumer-insurance-contracts-law/> accessed 9
March 2017.
4 John Hare, ‘The Omnipotent Warranty: England v the World’ in Marc Huybrechts and others (eds), Marine
Insurance at the Turn of the Millenium (Vol 2, Intersentia 2000) 55.

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