Providing a comprehensive overview of the body of law that regulates the insurance business, this Advanced Introduction evaluates the governing principles, policies, values, and purposes of insurance legislation and related judicial doctrines. It examines the ways in which the industry's origins help us understand the present, and how insurance connects to major public policy issues that will shape the world for future generations.
To convince someone that insurance is important, simply ask them to identify an event or transaction that does not involve insurance in some way. This is not easy to do. They may offer the example of a crime, but if we look closely enough, the odds are high that insurance is implicated in some manner. In civil affairs, it is nearly impossible to find an example. If insurance is so pervasive in our economic and social lives, the legal rules governing the industry are unquestionably worthy of our attention.
I appreciate the opportunity Edward Elgar Publishing has given me to articulate, after my nearly forty years of academic study and teaching, what thoughts I would share with someone interested in a more challenging and advanced introduction to the field of insurance law. This book is my effort to do that. Understanding insurance law presupposes some understanding of risk, how it is managed, and the insurance business, including how insurers interact with the consuming public. My discussion covers those topics and then addresses what I consider to be the principal themes of insurance law regulating those interactions. Because insurance law is so vast, sometimes in the discussion I offer representative examples of the issues insurance law addresses and leave it to the reader to seek more expansive texts, treatises, and articles for a deeper dive into the material. Some suggestions are provided in the footnotes.
As the co-author of a 975-page introductory treatise on insurance law, which I first wrote and published in 1987, I am grateful to Carolina Academic Press for supporting my desire to write this volume for Elgar. The treatise, now in its sixth edition with Douglas R. Richmond as co-author and last published in 2018, is titled Understanding Insurance Law. Its first citation appears in Chapter 2; thereafter, it appears in the footnotes as “Jerryand Richmond.” Readers should know that all p. ixInternet sources cited in the footnotes were visited during the month of August 2022. Also, each chapter restarts the numbering at “1,” and supra references are used only if the source appeared earlier in the chapter.
Last but hardly least, I want to acknowledge four of the “senior scholars” in insurance law whose early works influenced me greatly—Edwin Patterson, Robert Keeton, William Vance, and Spencer Kimball. I am grateful for my many years of co-authorship and collaboration with Roger Henderson and Doug Richmond. I also acknowledge with profound gratitude the benefits and insights I have received from the works of my contemporaries and an amazing cohort of young insurance scholars around the globe. You are too numerous to list here, but you are very much appreciated, and I look forward to reading your contributions for, I hope, many years to come.