Liability Insurance Law (LAWS90025)
Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)
From Semester 1, 2023 our undergraduate programs will be delivered on campus. Graduate programs will mainly be delivered on campus, with dual-delivery and online options available to a select number of subjects within some programs.
To learn more, visit 2023 Course and subject delivery.
About this subject
- Eligibility and requirements
- Dates and times
- Further information
- Timetable(opens in new window)
Please refer to the specific study period for contact information.
|Fees||Look up fees|
Insurance is a cornerstone of effective risk transfer. It is often critical to the viability of commercial enterprises and transactions. That said, insurance contracts and arrangements have become increasingly complex, and specialised knowledge is required to understand their operation and limitations. This subject will provide an in-depth understanding of liability insurance, which indemnifies insureds against liability to third parties, and comprises a large part of the insurance market. It will examine the roles and obligations of participants in the insurance industry, different types of liability insurance, key principles of the common law regarding insurance, and legislative intervention, especially the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), including recent amendments to that Act.
Principal topics include:
- The structure and operation of contracts of liability insurance, and the main forms of liability insurance, including professional indemnity insurance, public and products liability insurance, and directors’ and officers’ insurance
- The operation of the global insurance industry and the roles of various insurance industry participants, such as underwriters (including Lloyd's syndicates), excess insurers, co-insurers, reinsurers, captives, underwriting agents, claims officers, lawyers, insurance brokers and loss adjusters
- An overview of the legislative and regulatory framework for the Australian insurance industry
- The construction of insuring clauses and extensions
- The construction of exclusion clauses and conditions, including cross-liability, severability and non-imputation clauses
- The operation and effect of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) and its interplay with the laws of contract, equity and tort, on matters including:
- The duty of utmost good faith
- Misrepresentation and non-disclosure
- Notification of claims and circumstances
- Section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) and remedies for breach of insurance contracts
- Cancellation of insurance contracts
- Rights of third party beneficiaries
- Double insurance
- An analysis of issues requiring further legislative reform.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should be able to:
- Analyse the language of liability insurance contracts, including insuring clauses, extensions, exclusions and conditions found in those contracts
- Explain key common law and equitable principles affecting liability insurance contracts including subrogation, double insurance, waiver, estoppel and election
- Demonstrate specialised knowledge of various forms of liability insurance contracts such as professional indemnity insurance, public and products liability insurance, and directors' and officers' insurance
- Apply knowledge of the roles performed by participants in the insurance industry, such as underwriters (including Lloyd's syndicates), excess insurers, co-insurers, reinsurers, captives, underwriting agents, claims officers, lawyers, insurance brokers and loss adjusters
- Apply knowledge of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) and its interface with the common law and equity, particularly concerning the duty of utmost good faith, misrepresentation and non-disclosure, rights of third party beneficiaries, notification of claims and circumstances, and subrogation
- Critically evaluate the effectiveness of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) and the common law, and articulate arguments regarding the need for legislative reform to specialist audiences
Last updated: 24 January 2023