LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

INSURANCE LAW (excluding Marine Insurance) LAWSG041
Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Mr Edmund Townsend Other Teachers: N/A


While insurance law is significant in its own right it also plays a critical role in the development of other branches of the law. Insurance contracts often underpin commercial transactions, particularly contracts for goods and services (including consumer contracts) and international trade. Insurance law also pervades the policy issues not always openly avowed in the reasoning of the courts when deciding negligence cases and claims for breach of statutory duty. At its root, insurance is the means by which a party, the insured, shifts the risk of suffering a loss (for example, property, life, credit or potential liability) to another party, the insurer. As a specialist area of the law of contract, there is a rich body of case law together with a range of statutory interventions.

There is a rejuvenated movement pressing for reform and the English and Scottish Law Commissions are currently undertaking a fundamental review of insurance law. The first part of the project has recently been completed leading to new legislation, the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012.

It is worth noting that students contemplating a career in the City will find the subject particularly relevant. Most City firms have insurance departments and these rank among their highest fee earners.

While this module focuses on the English law of insurance, many of the basic concepts are shared by other common law and civil law jurisdictions. Reference will be made to developments in the USA and Australia as a means of considering how similar problems/issues may receive different judicial/legislative responses elsewhere.


The module covers the key components of the formation of the insurance contract, claims and the regulation of insurance business and insurance intermediaries. Although it does not cover marine insurance in its own right, reference will be made to the Marine Insurance Act 1906 and to the case law decided thereunder relevant to non-marine insurance contracts. The course is concerned with English law, but reference will be made to developments in other common law jurisdictions (e.g. the USA, Canada and Australia) in order to see how insurance law issues may receive different judicial/legislative responses elsewhere. Policy considerations underlying the law of insurance will be examined. Particular emphasis will be paid to key concepts such as the notion of ‘risk’ and ‘loss spreading’.

Background Reading (optional):

  • J. Lowry, P. Rawlings and R. Merkin, Insurance Law: Doctrines and Principles 3rd ed (Oxford, Hart, 2011)
  • J. Lowry, ‘Redrawing the parameters of good faith in insurance contracts’ [2007] Current Legal Problems 338.

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: None
Previous module enrolments: Medium – 16-50 students
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisities: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: International Banking and Finance Law, International Commercial Law
Final Assessment: 3-hour unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: Practice essay during the Christmas vacation period

This page was last updated on 9 July, 2014


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.