Insurance

Insurance in the United States

Insurance Definition

A contract whereby, for an agreed premium, one party undertakes to indemnify the other against loss on a specified subject by specified perils. The party agreeing to make the indemnity -according to the definition of Insurance based on The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . – is usually called the insurer or underwriter; the other, the insured’ or assured; the agreed consideration, the premium; the written contract, a policy; the events insured against, risks or perils; and the subject, right, or interest to be protected, the insurable interest. 1 Phil. Ins. §§ 1-5. Called, also, assurance. Insurance is classified according to the nature of the risk insured against, or the nature of the property insured, the principal sorts being

  • fire insurance, being against injury to property by fire;
  • life insurance, being against injury by the death of one in whose interest the assured has a pecuniary interest;
  • marine insurance, being against injury to vessels or their cargo by any peril of navigation; and
  • accident insurance, being against loss from accidental personal injury.

Many other varieties, however, have become common in recent years, as against injury to crops by hail; against loss by defalcation; against defects of title to land, etc.

Practical Information

A social device designed to eliminate pure risk. Almost everything is insurable, if a person wants to pay the premium. General classifications of insurance are fire and extended coverage, casualty, accident and health, life, and marine. Also available to the homeowner is the homeowner’s policy, which covers a number of perils. Available to the businessperson and attorney are special multiperil policies that cover fire, extended coverage, burglary, personal injury, and other liability perils. Insurance companies are controlled by state insurance departments and the statutes of the state in which they operate. The contracts or policies are written, but an agent may place an oral binder on property to obtain immediate coverage. (Revised by Ann De Vries)

Insurance meaning

Industrialisation led to serious work-place accidents. Consequently to avoid the worst injustices governments enacted mandatory insurance systems to cover workers against such accidents. The tort system also plays an insurance role, but is generally not as efficient due to the costs of attorneys as an insurance system.

First party

Insurance by a person of their person or property. Such insurance could arguably be considered as deductible from whatever damages award that the insured receives in the event of being victim of a tort-feasor. In cases of obligatory insurance a good argument can be made that reducing the damages award by the insurance is just, particularly in cases of no-fault liability such as auto accidents. However in cases of voluntary assurance the collateral source rule would be perverse: it would undermine the deterrence function of tort law by permitting plaintiffs to escape unsanctioned or under-sanctioned and punish prudent plaintiffs who seek insurance.

Third party

(Obligatory) Insurance of persons against accidents that they cause. Such insurance where mandatory is clearly legal. What of cases where the insurance is not mandatory? There the risk is percieved that permitting insurance coverage may lead to irresponability. However that rationale is not strong: the costs of litigation, both in terms of money and time, as well as the threat of punitive damages and higher premiums indicate that the deterrence function of tort law is probably not undermined by permitting insurance to cover tortious losses.

For other meanings of it, read Insurance in the Legal Dictionary here.

Legal Materials

Statutes, regulations, insurance department opinions, and other primary materials for all 50 states are compiled in print in the multi-volume National Insurance Law Service(NILS) and online via NILS INsource. Otherwise, you can also get statutes, administrative codes, etc. from free government web sites, Lexis and, Westlaw, and the various low-cost legal information providers (see “State Statutes,” “State Cases,” etc.). The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) posts a map linking to the state insurance departments’ websites.

The leading insurance law treatises are Appleman’s Insurance law and practice(LexisNexis) and Couch on Insurance (West). Appleman is available on Lexis (INSURE;APLMAN). Couch is available on Westlaw (COUCH). I have been told that Liability Insurance in International Arbitration (Hart Publishing) is the only book on the topic.

There are some useful full-text secondary source materials on Lexis and Westlaw, notably materials by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and law review articles. To find insurance-related articles, search Westlaw’s INSNEWS database or the appropriate files in the Lexis INSURE library. Alternatively, if you have access, you can search the Insurance Periodicals Index on EBSCOhost.

Lexis has the full line of Mealey’s insurance news and pleadings databases, as well as NAIC materials (INSURE;MODLAW) and a substantial number of insurance treatises. Click here for a list of the available treatises, or here for a list of insurance-related Mealey’s databases.

The Davis Library at the School for Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (formerly the College of Insurance) in New York City is an excellent source for insurance-related materials. They do research and document delivery for students, faculty and members of the Insurance Society of New York; non-members can use the library only by coming in person and purchasing a pass, but their online catalog can be used to identifying insurance-related materials. For more information, visit the Davis Library web site or call 212-277-5135.

Automobile Insurance: State insurance laws and regulations are summarized at length in Automobile Insurance Laws, published by the American Insurance Association. Abbreviated summaries are published in The Lawyer’s Almanac. See also “Automobiles” and “Driving.”

Annotated Insurance Policies: Probably the best source for case law interpreting insurance policies is Miller’s Standard Insurance Policies Annotated (West). Miller’s is available in print as a multi-volume looseleaf service and electronically through and Westlaw (MILLERS-ANN). If Miller’s doesn’t address your topic, search an appropriate case law database (see “State Cases”).

Claims Search: Attorneys litigating automobile accidents and other personal injury suits will often want to know whether the other party is one of those people who files loads of insurance claims. A company called ISO sells this information, either on a case-by-case bases or through a database called ISOClaimsSearch.

50-State Surveys: The Compendium of State Laws on Insurance Topics summarizes the laws and regulations on a wide range of insurance-related topics(see the “National Association of Insurance Commissioners” entry for more about the Compendium). Lexis offers a database of insurance-related 50-state surveys (INSURE;STSURV).Westlaw offers the Oden state statute and regulation summaries as an equivalent (ODEN-SUMMARIES).

Foreign Insurance Laws: The MULTI-INSF database on Westlaw database includes insurance statutes, regs, and other primary legal materials not only from the U.S. but also from Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. For more information, see “Foreign Laws.”

Policy Forms: ISO Policy forms are available by subscription to the ISO Forms Libraryor on a per-search basis on Lexis (INSURE;ISOFOR). Common insurance forms are included in Miller’s Standard Insurance Policies Annotated (West).

Insurance in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

For starting research in the law of a foreign country:

Link Description
Insurance Insurance in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Insurance Insurance in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Insurance Insurance in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Insurance Insurance in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Insurance Insurance in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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Insurance in relation to Public Officers

Find out in this American legal Encyclopedia the information on Insurance in relation to Public Officers (and in the context of local government law).

Insurance in relation to Public Officers

Insurance in relation to Pension and benefit systems changes in rates of contribution

In the context of Local and State goverment law and Insurance, find out more detailed information about this topic in this American legal Encyclopedia.

Insurance (Exemptions)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of insurance. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Exemptions is provided. Finally, the subject of Antitrust, Trade Law in relation with insurance is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Insurance (Immunities)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of insurance. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Immunities is provided. Finally, the subject of Antitrust, Trade Law in relation with insurance is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Finding the law: Insurance in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to insurance, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines insurance topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.

Insurance

In Legislation

Insurance in the U.S. Code: Title 49, Subtitle VII, Part A, Chapter 443

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating insurance are compiled in the United States Code under Title 49, Subtitle VII, Part A, Chapter 443. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Transportation (including insurance) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Aviation Programs and Transport Programs of the US Code, including insurance) by chapter and subchapter.

Insurance

In Legislation

Insurance in the U.S. Code: Title 38, Part II, Chapter 19

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating insurance are compiled in the United States Code under Title 38, Part II, Chapter 19. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Veterans (including insurance) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Benefits and Insurance and Life Insurance of the US Code, including insurance) by chapter and subchapter.

Insurance

In Legislation

Insurance in the U.S. Code: Title 15, Chapter 93

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating insurance are compiled in the United States Code under Title 15, Chapter 93. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Trade Law (including insurance) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Insurance of the US Code, including insurance) by chapter and subchapter.

Resources

Further Reading

See Also

Insurance Companies
Insurance Contract Clauses
Insurance Department Regulations
Insurance Ratings
National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Patent Insurance
Form A Applications
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Codes
A.M. Best

E & o Insurance in the context of Real Estate

Resurces

See Also

  • Errors And Omission Insurance

Fdic in the context of Real Estate

Resurces

See Also

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Insurance: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Insurance. This part provides references, in relation to Insurance, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Insurance by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Insurance and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Insurance or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Insurance and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Insurance. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Insurance should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Insurance when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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