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Unit information: Insurance Law in 2021/22

Unit name Insurance Law
Unit code LAWDM0156
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Miss. Kate Bracegirdle
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The law of insurance has been the subject of extensive statutory reform in the last eight years. Traditionally the contract of insurance is one of utmost good faith which can lead to legal consequences that have often been criticised as unduly punitive to the insured party. The balance of rights and obligations of the parties has been somewhat redressed by the new consumer and other protections. This unit will cover the principles and rules of the law of insurance and the different legal regimes applying to consumer and non-consumer insureds. The unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the particular statutory and common law rules applying to formation, performance and discharge of a contract of insurance and the principle of indemnity. This latter principle is key to the operation of insurance contracts and is supported by the important commercial remedies of subrogation and contribution, which this unit will also cover. The unit also aims to provide opportunities for students to undertake research into specific types of insurance contract and the most important topical issues currently facing the insurance industry.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. Explain the general principles of insurance law, examine how they manifest themselves in the relevant legal rules and assess to what extent they have been modified or supervened as a result of other imperatives;
  2. Apply the common law and statutory rules to fact situations which raise complex issues of insurance law and appraise how the recently enacted statutory provisions are likely to be applied by the courts in practice;
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of recent reforms of insurance law, criticise any continuing defects in the current law and recommend proposals for further reform if required;
  4. Research particular types of insurance, summarise the features of these relative to insurance law generally and critique the law relating to them;
  5. Reflect on current issues of concern to the insurance industry, prioritise these and determine how the current law or future law reform might impact on them.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

Assessment will be by 2,000 word essay (33%) and 3 hour exam (67%). ILOs 1,2,3 and 5 will be assessed by way of the examination and ILOs 1-5 will be assessed by way of the essay.

Students will have the opportunity to do one formative assessment in the form of a 1500 word essay.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWDM0156).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.