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

Accessing papers

If you are logged in as a member or a registered academic, you will see a link to download the paper for FREE. The link is just above the Add to Cart button.

If you wish to purchase the paper, you must be logged in first (click here to log in, or click here to register). You will then see the Add to Cart button. You may also have a choice of preferred format if both are available - PDF download costs £3 inc VAT, printed version costs £7.50 inc postage (no VAT). Choosing one or the other changes the price displayed.

When you are ready to check out, use the 'View basket' link in the top left of the website.

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 Siân Mirchandani are barristers practising at Four New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London.

Text: 12 pages

Paper number: 
March 2017, printed and online, 500k

Our papers

The Society has published nearly 400 papers since 1984. Some are published both in hard copy and electronically (numbered), others in electronic format only (number prefixed 'D'). The hard copy papers can be purchased (except those marked with an asterisk which are no longer available). They are all also available as PDF files to download.

Those available as downloads can be accessed free by members and registered academics (students and staff) - if logged in, they will see a link to the file just above the Add to Cart button on each paper's page. Others can purchase the PDF file for a cost of £3.00. Note that this sum includes VAT, since VAT is chargeable on digital files.

For further instructions on downloading, click here. The PDF file will only open on your computer if you have Adobe Acrobat installed (to obtain a free copy, click here). To save the paper to your computer, choose the 'save' icon on the Acrobat toolbar before opening the paper.

For personal use only

The papers on this website are for use by SCL members (and those who pay for them) only, and papers may be downloaded, printed and/or otherwise retained for that purpose only by members of the SCL (and those who purchase them).  The availability of all papers past and present represents a significant benefit to members of SCL and wider dissemination of SCL papers dilutes that to the detriment of the membership.  Further and more importantly, copyright in the papers belongs jointly to the writers of the paper and to the SCL, and the SCL is not therefore in a position to provide any wider licence.  Accordingly the SCL asks members and those who purchase papers not to disseminate papers more widely than their licence allows (e.g. by posting them on internal legal resource intranet databases and the like).