Legislation: Insurance

Relevant Commonwealth and Victorian legislation includes the following.

Insurance Contracts Act

The Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) (“IC Act”) Act applies to insurance policies entered into after 1 January 1986. The IC Act is a significant piece of consumer protection legislation, which reformed the common law relating to insurance policies. The IC Act does not apply to policies of reinsurance, health insurance, marine insurance, workers compensation or compulsory third-party (personal injury) motor vehicle insurance.

The IC Act is referred to extensively throughout this chapter. Those seeking to rely on a provision of the IC Act should check the Act carefully first to find out whether the particular provision applies to the insurance policy or issue in question. A copy of the IC Act can be viewed at www.austlii.edu.au (under “Commonwealth legislation”).

Insurance Contracts Regulations

The Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985 (Cth) (“IC Regulations”), among other things, prescribe standard cover for certain policies of domestic insurance (seePrescribed contracts”).

It is important for policyholders and legal practitioners to consult the IC Regulations and check that the insurance policy under consideration conforms with the prescribed standard cover.

Financial Services Reform Act

The Financial Services Reform Act 2001 (Cth) (“FSR Act”) deals with certain types of insurance policies, including domestic lines of insurance, and significantly affects the way insurance companies, their agents and insurance brokers deal with the public in the marketing and sale of insurance policies. It amends the:

Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth); and

Insurance Act 1973 (Cth).

Instruments Act

Sections 25–29 of the Instruments Act 1958 (Vic) may also be relevant in some circumstances.