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The Insurance Act 2015: How will it impact upon the insurance of construction professionals?

Paper number

Ben Patten QC and Siân Mirchandani

March 2017

A paper presented to meetings of the Society of Construction Law in London on 6th September and Edinburgh on 26th October 2016

The Insurance Act 2015 has replaced many of the well-known principles of law applicable to insurance contracts (other than those with consumers, which since 2012 have had their own statute). The authors consider the changes likely to impact most on those professionals who have professional indemnity cover in a construction context. The main areas considered concern the replacement for the old 'duty of utmost good faith' in disclosures by a would-be insured and the legal consequences of failing to make those disclosures which are necessary under the new law; new limitations on how representations may become warranties; the consequences of a breach of warranty and the greater possibility of making a valid claim if a breach of warranty was in fact irrelevant to the loss actually suffered. The authors also consider how insurers may react to these changes and how far the new uncertainties may offset the potential benefits in the position of an insured person; and the scope for retaining the old law by opting out - so far as possible - of the new statutory regime.

Introduction - Restrictions on avoidance for non-disclosure - Restrictions on declining a claim for failure to comply with terms - The impact of the changed law.

The authors:Ben Patten QC and Si√¢n Mirchandani are barristers practising at Four New Square, Lincoln's Inn, London.

Text: 12 pages