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Review of insurance contracts law coming - but what will it cover?

A review of insurance contracts law has been described as "well overdue".

Thursday, June 22nd 2017, 3:25PM

by Susan Edmunds

A spokesman for Commerce Minister Jacqui Dean confirmed she planned to conduct a review of the laws governing insurance in this country, but said it would not happen until later this year, or early next.

He said it was part of Dean's work programme.

She aims to pass an Insurance Contracts Bill, which would consolidate and modernise New Zealand’s insurance contract law, during the next parliamentary term.

He said the scope had not yet been worked out but the minister had clearly signalled that it was an area she was interested in. He did not have a timeframe for the work.

It is expected it will include a review of the Insurance Law Reform Act.

Dean’s office said there had been significant interest in the review, but it the primary intention of signalling the move had been so that it did not come as a surprise when a more formal process was announced.

Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman Karen Stevens said she supported the review “110%”.

She said there were a number of insurance acts in place. They covered everything from cases where people were driving on a restricted license, to mis-statement in insurance proposals and insurers being deemed to have knowledge of non-disclosure if a third-party adviser did.

“There’s some quite meaty things but it’s all scattered. The idea of bringing it all together to make one Insurance Contracts Act is a fabulous idea,” she said. “It couldn’t be better.”

She said it was timely, because the age of the existing law meant it could be seen as out of date. A 1998 report from the Law Commission identified issues that remain. “We’ve known there are issues with insurance law for a long time.”

Stevens said she commended the minister for her plans to look into it.

Tags: Insurance Advisers

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