Liability Insurance Posts
When last we addressed the American Law Institute’s (ALI) proposed Restatement, Law of Liability Insurance, we reported that the organization decided at its May annual meeting to table final consideration of the document until 2018.
While ALI postponed the vote on final approval of its “Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance” until May 2018, at least seven courts have not let the lack of a bow on it stop them from citing it. In a few instances, the Restatement was relevant in the court’s decision. Translation: there is good reason to become familiar with the Restatement, even if it’s not officially in the books.
In a decision that discussed the issue of rescission of insurance contracts in cases of material misrepresentations in insurance applications by high-risk insureds, the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles cited the Proposed Final Draft of Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance.
In late May 2017, The American Law Institute met to approve its new Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance. This is the first Restatement to address the law of insurance coverage.
The American Law Institute Postpones Final Vote On The Liability Insurance Restatement But That Hasn’t Stopped Six Courts From Already Citing ItRandy Maniloff
For those not closely following the ALI Liability Insurance Restatement, the project, and its process, can seem mysterious. This decision by the ALI, to delay the final vote, hardly solves this problem. So, what does all this mean?
In Dalecroft Properties Ltd v. Underwriters  EWHC 1263 (Comm), Mr. Richard Salter QC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) confirmed the defendant insurers’ right to avoid a property insurance policy following various misrepresentations relating to the state of repair of the insured property and non-disclosures relating to acts of vandalism to the property.
Penn Law’s Tom Baker serves as the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Liability Insurance. The ALI membership met on May 23 and discussed the Restatement, which would help to define insurance law as a field. Professor Baker is an expert in insurance law, and he took the time to explain where the project currently stands.
It had been expected by many that, after seven years of arduous work, The American Law Institute’s (ALI) “Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance” would be approved on Tuesday, May 23 at the Institute’s Annual Meeting at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. But, despite expectations, no white smoke bellowed from the luxury hotel’s chimney.
The saga of the proposed Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance of the American Law Institute continued to unfold recently with the publication by the Restatement’s authors, professors Tom Baker and Kyle Logue, of their rebuttal to an article by professor George Priest critical of the proposed Restatement.
In a recent essay funded by the insurance industry, Yale Law Professor George Priest launched a strident critique of the Restatement project, arguing that the rules adopted in the Restatement (a) are radically contrary to existing case law, (b) have a naïve “pro-policyholder” bias that ignores basic economic insights regarding how insurance works, and (c) will, as a result of (a) and (b), lead to increases in liability insurance premiums and disruption in coverage, to the detriment of individuals and firms that need liability insurance. This essay argues that each of these claims is false.