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Contracts

University of Nevada, Las Vegas -- William S. Boyd School of Law

Insurance policy

2010

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Misclassifying The Insurance Policy: The Unforced Errors Of Unilateral Contract Characterization, Hazel G. Beh, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2010

Misclassifying The Insurance Policy: The Unforced Errors Of Unilateral Contract Characterization, Hazel G. Beh, Jeffrey W. Stempel

Scholarly Works

Insurance policies are traditionally classified as unilateral or “reverse-unilateral” contracts, a characterization we find largely incorrect, with problematic consequences for adjudication of insurance coverage disputes. In addition to the general difficulties attending the unilateral classification, the concept as applied to insurance policies is not only unhelpful but incorrect. Insurance policies are more accurately viewed as bilateral contracts. In addition, the unilateral characterization of insurance policies introduces error and inconsistency into the litigation of insurance controversies. In particular, the unilateral view tends toward excessive formalism and focus on so-called “conditions” precedent to coverage, eschewing material breach analysis and encouraging needless forfeitures …


The Insurance Policy As Statute, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2010

The Insurance Policy As Statute, Jeffrey W. Stempel

Scholarly Works

Insurance policies are classified as a subspecies of contract. Although the taxonomy is correct, rigid adherence to this classification system limits the legal system's ability to deal with some of the most problematic and frequently litigated questions of insurance coverage. Restricting conception of insurance policies to the contract model unduly limits analysis of the meaning and function of the policies. In addition, restricting characterization of insurance as a matter of “contract” does not necessarily produce swift, inexpensive, efficient, or uniform decisions (to say nothing about accuracy, justice, or fairness). Within contract law, scholars, and courts differ over the respective primacy …


The Insurance Policy As Social Instrument And Social Institution, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2010

The Insurance Policy As Social Instrument And Social Institution, Jeffrey W. Stempel

Scholarly Works

Insurance policies are classified as a species of contract. Although this characterization is correct, it is unduly narrow if used as the exclusive lens for assessing insurance policies, which are not merely contracts but also are designed to perform particular risk management, deterrence, and compensation functions important to economic and social ordering. Recognizing this has significant implications regarding the manner in which insurance policies are construed in coverage disputes and suggests that policy construction can be improved by not only performing traditional contract analysis of disputed policies but also by appreciating the particular function of the insurance policy in question …