Law of Ship Mortgages

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16.1 Introduction

16.1.1 The statutory underpinning of English law of marine insurance is the Marine Insurance Act 1906 but with an extensive, long-standing and ever-expanding body of case-law.1 This chapter does no more than focus on areas of insurance law that are of particular relevance to the position of the mortgagee.2 The Insurance Act 2015, coming into force in August 20163 makes radical changes to the law as between insurer and insured. Among the changes are: a new duty of ‘fair presentation’ in place of the duty of disclosure4 (with the Marine Insurance Act 1906, ss 18 and 19 being consequentially repealed);5 changes to the application and effect of breach of warranty;6 and abolition of the duty of utmost good faith.7 No attempt is made to address the ways in which the new Act will affect many of the issues addressed in this chapter, which have been developed over centuries of case-law and against the background of the Marine Insurance Act 1906. As a general observation, however, the reforms to be introduced by the new Act will have the effect of relaxing much of the rigidity of the existing law, which has been troublesome to the position of a ship mortgagee. The impact of changes will be commented on and analysed extensively, including no doubt before the publication of this book.8

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