Insurance is an inescapable cost of doing business in a modern economy and an important service for any individual with dependents or even a modest amount of property. Most readers of this book will someday purchase automobile, homeowner’s, and life insurance, and many readers will deal with insurance in the course of a business career.
Most insurance questions are governed by contract law, since virtually all insurance is voluntary and entered into through written agreements. This means that the insured must pay careful attention to the wording of the policies to determine what is excluded from coverage and to ensure that he makes no warranties that he cannot keep and no misrepresentations or concealments that will void the contract. But beyond contract law, some insurance law principles—such as insurable interest and subrogation rights—are important to bear in mind. Defenses available to an insurance company may be based upon representation, concealment, or warranties, but an insurer that is overzealous in denying coverage may find itself subject to punitive damages.
The substitution of one person for another in pursuit of a legal claim is called
Most insurance questions are covered by
Common defenses used by insurance companies include
A coinsurance clause
Property insurance typically covers