Call for papers

Between the 11th and 14th June 2019 there is going to be a technical insurance conference looking in detail at risk and the insurance business in history from the middle ages.

The event is drawing experts from all around the world and I for one will certainly be attending.

The organising committee is seeking proposals for sessions and I attach the documentation so if you are interested in presenting or know someone who may be.

Call for sessions 2.0 Combined

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Latest claims rating now available

As an addendum to the Mansfield Awards which were presented last week in Sydney (see here for article), I am pleased to advise that the latest claims ratings as determined by complaint data recorded by the Financial Ombudsmen Service, where appropriate, and insured feedback and our regular survey are now available at www.ClaimsComparison.com.

As always, I encourage people to consider the claims service when purchasing insurance and not relying on price alone.

Policy coverage and claims service and financial strength rating are all VERY important criteria when choosing the insurance program that is protecting your assets or those of your client. 

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Congratulations to the Winners of the 2016 Territory Insurance Awards!

NTICWith the Northern Territory Insurance Conference coming to a close the winners are announced. Congratulations to all award winners.

 

Claims Professional of the Year – sponsored by eReports

Gregg Cooper, Senior Consultant, Complex Claims & Major Loss, TIO

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Service Provider Professional of the Year – sponsored by Arthur J. Gallagher

Julia Swenson, Principal Occupational Therapist, Territory Therapy Solutions

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Broker Insurance Professional of the Year – sponsored by TIO & Allianz

Katie Stephenson, Business Development Executive, Arthur J. Gallagher
* Debra Smyth accepting on behalf of Broker Professional of the Year Katie Stephenson

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Sales and Underwriting Professional of the Year – sponsored by Claim Central

Travis Penning, Property Manager, TIO

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A year of milestone anniversaries for key events influencing the insurance industry

250 anniversary ethnic numbers.This September marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London which led to both modern property insurance and fire brigades as we know them. I intend on writing an extended piece for this blog and am currently working on a coffee table book with my son, which will come out closer to the September anniversary.

Just as important, in my opinion, is the fact it is the 250th anniversary of the court case that led to the enshrining of the principle of Utmost Good Faith into insurance. The case we owe this to is Carter v. Boehm (1766), 3 Burr. 1905

In the course of his judgement, the famous. Lord Mansfield stated:

“Insurance is a contract upon speculation. The special facts, upon which the contingent chance is to be computed, lie most commonly in the knowledge of the insured only: the underwriters trusts to his representation, and proceeds upon confidence that he does not keep back any circumstance in his knowledge, to mislead the underwriter into a belief that the circumstance does not exist, and to induce him to estimate the risk, as if it did not exist.

“The keeping back such circumstance is a fraud, and therefore the policy is void. Although the suppression should happen through mistake, without any fraudulent intention, yet still the underwriter is deceived, and the policy is void, because the risk run is really different from the risk understood and intended to be run, at the time of the agreement.

“The policy would be equally void, against the underwriter if he concealed; as, if he insured a ship on her voyage, which he privately knew to be arrived; and an action would lie to recover the premium.

“The governing principle is applicable to all contracts and dealings. Good faith forbids either party, by concealing what he privately knows, to draw the other into a bargain, from his ignorance of the fact and his believing and the contrary.

“But either party may be innocently silent, as to grounds open to both, to exercise their judgement upon… There are many matters as to which the insured may be innocently silent. He need not mention what the underwriter knows… An underwriter cannot insist that the policy is void because the insured did not tell him what he actually knew; what way soever he came to the knowledge. The insured need not mention what the underwriter ought to know; what he takes upon himself the knowledge of; or what he waives being informed of. The underwriter needs not to be told what lessens the risk agreed and understood to be run by the express terms of the policy. He needs not to be told general topics of speculation…” 

[Emphasis mine]

In this first case it was found that the insurer had not acted in good faith and the client was entitled to have their claim paid.

While the Insurance Contracts Act, [1984] (Cth of Australia) reaffirmed that this principle is the cornerstone of the insurance industry, I question when I see extremely low ball offers of settlement made to an insured, decisions to delay payments to force an insured into accepting a lower settlement, the events leading up to the portrayal of our industry around some investigators and the handling of life insurance claims, ignoring conflicts of interest, and if we are honest with ourselves what are in effect hidden commissions, if Utmost Good Faith is being given anything but lip service on the one hand but being held as something that the insured must exhibit at every turn on the other.

To examine these issues and others surrounding them to me is a vitally important underlying principle of insurance, barrister Greg Pynt from Perth and I are underwriting a one off special conference in Bengkulu, Sumatra (Indonesia)  on 1 & 2 October. This location was chosen as it is very near the location of the loss which gave rise to the Carter v Boehm case.  [A visit to the restored structure ( a fort) will be part of the event.]

A range of excellent speakers including Prof Robin Pearson from Hull University is being put together. Greg is up in Bengkulu this week to make sure all the logistics are in place for a smooth running of the event. While Greg and I are behind the conference and underwriting it from a cost perspective, the conference is being organised by Conference Images a company well known to many readers.

The cost of the conference which includes registration,  tour speakers, lunches and dinners is a very reasonable $850 plus GST.  To learn more  please down load the Bengkulu Flyer or go to www.CartervBoehm.com. Finally Greg or I are happy to take your enquiries.

The concept behind this website is that it will remain active in perpetuity with papers from the conference, photos and videos of the presentations available for use into the future and hopefully reviewed at the 300th and other milestone anniversaries of this seminal case. Obviously other papers and items of interest on the topic will be added to the proposed knowledge data base.

The final point I would make is that Greg and I are not doing this for any financial gain. It is purely for educational and research purposes for the benefit of attendees, the wider insurance community and for future generations of insurance professionals. If the conference runs at a loss we will bear the cost equally between the two of us. If it runs at a profit, all profit will be donated to an education facility in or near Bengkulu to benefit the youth of that community.

Please come along. It will be a most interesting and informative event.

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Carter v Boehm – Utmost Good Faith 250th Anniversary Conference


Fort Marlborough Akadika Photography Bengkulu
Carter v Boehm 250th Anniversary’ Conference

Bengkulu, Sumatra on the weekend of 1 and 2 October 2016

This year is the 250th anniversary of Lord Mansfield’s seminal judgment in Carter v Boehm,[1] delivered in London at Easter time in 1766.  As Cory J remarked in the Canadian case Coronation Insurance Co v Taku Air Transport Ltd,[2] Carter v Boehm was decided when:

… the world was a little different. It was a simpler if not, in some respects, a gentler place.  The business of insurance was very different.  Then policies of insurance were issued most frequently to cover a vessel, or its cargo.  The contract was issued for the benefit of the insured.  It was the owner as insured who would have the detailed knowledge of the vessel or its cargo.  No one would know better than the owner of the incipient dry rot or the tendency of the ship to take on water in a fresh breeze.  This was knowledge that the insurance company could not readily attain and it was appropriate to relieve the insurer of all responsibility for obtaining it.  That principle held true in 1766.  It can hold true today where the policy is for the exclusive benefit of the insured.

The insurance issues in Carter v Boehm arose out of a French attack on Fort Marlborough, a British trading post in Bengkulu (then known as ‘Benkulen’ or ‘Bencoolen’), Sumatra in 1760.

The case of Carter v Boehm is particularly important to the Insurance industry as it was the landmark case driving the principle of Utmost Good Faith from Judge Mansfield, which today, is now a part of all insurance contracts. Because this is such a landmark ruling, someone equally as passionate on general insurance as myself, Greg Pynt and I are arranging a special one off conference at Fort Malborough.

As appears from the accompanying photograph, kindly supplied by Akadika Photography, Bengkulu, Fort Marlborough is presently in very good condition, thanks to restoration work completed by the Indonesian government in 1984.

Join us on our visit to Bengkulu City (population almost 400,000 people) on the weekend of 1 and 2 October this year.  The weekend will include presentations by qualified academics and others (including Professor Robin Pearson of the University of Hull) relevant to the legacy of Carter v Boehm each morning.  It will also include a guided tour of the Fort and perhaps visits in the afternoons to an active volcano, the tallest flower in the world, the largest flower in the world and other nearby attractions.

We expect to have a Registration brochure for the Conference later this month.  Logistics limit the Conference to 35 delegates.

This is a one-off visit to Conference in Bengkulu to acknowledge the origins of the arguably the most important case in the law of insurance.  Those behind the Conference will not financially profit by it. Anything over and above incurred costs will be donated to a worthy cause in Bengkulu, yet to be selected.

If you would like to register your interest in joining us in Bengkulu, please contact me on allan.manning@LMIGroup.com

You can also have a look at the event at : https://www.facebook.com/events/607291402759513/

 

[1] (1766) 3 Burr 1905; 97 ER 1162.

[2] [1991] 3 SCR 622.

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