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Insurance Duty Of The Utmost Good Faith Notes

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Insurance Duty Of The Utmost Good Faith Revision

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Insurance Duty of the Utmost Good Faith (DUGF) Origin: Carter v. Boehm; Created by Lord Mansfield. UWs claimed they were not given sufficient details on just how vulnerable a fort in Sumatra was to attack by the French. They are argued the risk was not properly disclosed to them. Rationale: An insurance contract is based upon speculation. Therefore the contracting party who has the knowledge of the risk has a DUGF to disclose any features that make the risk more likely. However, they have no duty to disclose anything that makes the risk less likely, is already known by the public generally or that a skilled underwriter should know. Codification: S.17 Marine Insurance Act 1906 (MIA): Insurance contracts 'based upon the utmost good faith'. The DUGF is effectively one of honesty and fairness.

Pinetop v. Panatlantic; H of L held that the s.17 statutory codification applies to both marine and non-marine risks.

It is a mutual duty owed by both parties. The parties can agree to limit the application of this duty; i.e. by waiving negligent or non-deliberate breaches. Consequence of breach is avoidance by the other party.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Placement Duties Owed by the Insured and Agents Placing Risk on their Behalf Insured: Situation - When trying to procure a contract of insurance (either by agent or directly) the insured must disclose knowledge when drafting a proposed cover. The DUGF is owed until the contract is entered into. o

S.18(1) MIA: 'Assured must disclose to the insurer, before the contract is concluded, every material circumstance which is known (or deemed to be known) by the assured'. Failure = avoidance.

 'Known' under s.18 = Four types of knowledge. 1) Actual. 2) Attributed. 3) Constructive knowledge - deemed to know something they are ought to. 4) The insured has an 'agent to know's' knowledge. o

S.20(1) MIA: 'Every material representation made by the assured, or his agent, to the insurer during negotiations for the contract and before the contract is concluded, must be true'. Failure = avoidance.


S.20(2) MIA: 'Material' = Must influence the judgment of a prudent underwriter in fixing a premium or deciding to take on a risk.


S.20(4) MIA: Representation as to a matter of fact = True if substantially correct.


S.20(5) MIA: Belief = True if made in good faith; i.e. believed to be true.


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