English insurance law is changing. Following recommendations of the Law Commission, a Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 17 July 2014 and will now be rushed through before the next election. The debate has been ongoing for eight years and represents some of the most radical changes to English insurance law for more than a century.

For most of those involved in the transportation of goods, and certainly those insuring goods under English law, insurance cover will be affected; how radically remains to be determined. The changes will affect policies some 18 months after the bill receives Royal Assent. This will, in all probability, be at some point in the middle of 2016.

The law, as it stands, is governed by the Marine Insurance Act 1906, a statute that embodied the common law principles of the 18th and 19th centuries. The aim of the reforms is to ‘bring the law into line with modern commercial practices’…

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