Review of insurance contract law is underway

Thursday, May 24, 2018

In March 2018 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced that it would be launching a review of insurance contract law. The objectives of the review are to ensure that the law related to insurance means that insurers and insureds are able to transact with confidence at all points in the lifecycle of an insurance policy, and that interactions between insurers and insureds are fair, efficient and transparent.

To begin the review, MBIE has released an Issues Paper.

The key matters being considered in the review are:

  • the requirements of customers to disclose information to insurers;
  • the regulation and oversight of insurers and their conduct, both in selling policies and in handling claims;
  • the ability of customers to compare and change policies and insurers; and
  • whether the standard rules for unfair contract terms should apply to insurance policies.

There are also a number of more discrete technical matters which are also being considered, including:

  • third party access to liability insurance monies, and whether a charge over insurance money is the most appropriate
  • way to deal with this;
  • requirements for the notification of claims within time limits, and the consequences of failing to do so;
  • whether exclusions should be able to be relied on, even if there is no causal link to the loss;
  • the registration of assignments of life insurance policies;
  • the relationship between insurers, brokers, and customers.

Our insurance team, with input from Professor Rob Merkin QC, have put together some initial reflections on the scope of the review. Please do contact one of our insurance team members if you’d like to discuss those reflections, and the review, further. We are happy to help if you would like assistance in making a submission in response to the Issues Paper, or on any other matter that you believe should be included in the review.

Any submissions must be made by the close of business on Friday 13 July.

If you have questions, please contact a member of our litigation and dispute resolution team.

 

Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.