Australia - Review Of The Marine Insurance Act 1909.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific – Australia - Insurance & Reinsurance

16 June, 2016


What you need to know


The Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) has recommended amendments to the Commonwealth Marine Insurance Act 1909 (MIA) in the light of recent amendments to the UK Marine Insurance Act 1906 (UK MIA), on which the MIA is based. The recommendations are largely based on the 2001 Australian Law Reform Commission "Review of the Marine Insurance Act 1909" (ALRC Report).


In February 2015, the UK enacted the Insurance Act 2015 which will come into effect in August 2016. The Insurance Act 2015 makes fundamental amendments to the UK MIA in relation to the key areas of utmost good faith, disclosure, remedies for breach of contract and warranties.


MLAANZ has proposed the following for a draft Bill to amend the MIA:


  • Section 8: Amended to extend its operation to cover inland waters and incidental air risks (i.e. Section 8(1) amended to omit "on inland waters or" and after "land" insert "or air"; and Section 8(2) ship repair previously confined to ship building).
  • Section 23: Amended to properly reflect the duty of utmost good faith (similar to Sections 12 to 15 of the Insurance Contracts Act Cth 1984 (ICA)).
  • Section 24, 25 & 26: Amends the duties of disclosure and introduces new Sections, including Section 26A No other duty of disclosure; Section 26B Remedies for non-disclosure and misrepresentation; Section 26C No greater remedies; and Section 26D Following insurers.
  • Section 31(2): Repeals the 12 month limit on time policies.
  • Section 35: Expanded to apply to cargo floating, open or annual policies and to include "other insurable property".
  • Section 39 and 40: Amends provisions relating to warranties.
  • New Section 47A introduced, regulating the rights of insurers to cancel contracts of marine insurance.
  • New Section 96 introduced to provide an entitlement to a prescribed rate of interest but not to damages (similar to Section 57 of the ICA. This provision was not included in the UK Insurance Act 2016).


What you need to do


  • MLAANZ members and stakeholders are invited to attend the presentation on 24 May 2016 at 4.30pm (AEST) at the Sydney Federal Court of Australia, 184 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Sydney Courtroom No. 1, Level 21.
  • Interstate MLAANZ members are invited to attend the presentation on 24 May 2016 at 4.30pm (AEST) via video link at the Federal Courts in Perth (Courtroom 4) and Adelaide (Courtroom 3).
  • The Explanatory Memorandum for a Bill to amend the MIA and further details on the above event, including registration, are available at the MLAANZ Website

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For further information, please contact:


Rehana Box, Partner, Ashurst
[email protected]