Have your say on proposed changes to marine insurance laws

Proposed reforms to the Marine Insurance Act are intended to bring Australian laws into line with the recent changes in the UK, as well as make the Marine Insurance Act more consistent with the Insurance Contracts Act.

Marine insurance in Australia is governed primarily by the Marine Insurance Act 1909, rather than the Insurance Contracts Act.

One reason for this was the desire to ensure marine insurance law in Australia closely followed the marine insurance law of the UK. This has been the case since 1909, until very recently.

In August 2016, important reforms were made to marine insurance laws in the UK. As a result of those changes, the alignment between marine insurance laws in the UK and Australia have been lost.

The Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) has been working on this issue. It has developed a package of amendments to the Marine Insurance Act are designed to bring the Australian legislation into line with the recent changes in the UK, and this will also make the Marine Insurance Act more consistent with the Insurance Contracts Act. Included in the package is the Explanatory Memorandum explaining the nature of the amendments and reasons why they have been developed.

Our assessment of the proposals is that they are reasonable and appropriate, but before taking the matter further we would appreciate the views of members on the proposed changes to the law in Australia.

Members who have comments on the proposals should provide them to NIBA CEO Dallas Booth at dbooth@niba.com.au. We would be grateful if comments could be provided by close of business on 14 October 2016.