2017-2018 / DROI0884-1

Insurance law


60h Th

Number of credits

 Master in law (120 ECTS)6 crédits 


Catherine Paris

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course will be organised in 2017-2018.
     The course offers students the opportunity to study the legal regime of insurance in Belgium, and more specifically, the insurance contract as governed by the law of 4 April 2014 on insurances.
In an introductory part aimed at outlining the framework of the subject, the student will study the major sectors of insurance (for instance, private insurance/social insurance, fixed premium insurance/mutual insurance, damage insurance/life and health insurance) and the basic elements of the technical principles of private insurance, with an emphasis on the economic and social role of the latter. The course will also touch on the broad lines of the system established to monitor insurance undertakings. Reference will also be made to the control regulations for insurance companies and the European directives.
The students will be introduced to the rules established by the law of 4 April 2014 that apply to all insurance contracts. The rules applicable to insurance contracts in general will be studied (formation of a contract, the parties' rights and obligations, etc.), as well as the provisions particular to indemnity and lump-sum insurance, the rules specifically regarding damage insurance (fire insurance, liability insurance and legal expenses insurance), and, finally, the legal provisions concerning life and health insurance (health insurance and personal life assurance).
Some insurance contracts, which are subject to specific regulations, such as "third-party car insurance" and fire insurance, will be analysed in greater detail.
Finally, we shall deal with issues associated with insurance distribution. We shall also refer to, among other concepts, the main obligations of insurance brokers as well as the nature of their relations with both the policyholder and the insurer.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge of the concepts particular to insurance law and the rights and obligations of the contracting parties (including third-party beneficiaries of guarantee), from the perspective of their use both in professional life and in private life. It also aims to encourage critical thought on the legal provisions of the law as well as their judicial application. Whenever appropriate, the students' attention will be drawn to current issues and plans for reform that have a direct impact on the insurance sector.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Students should have a solid foundation in the law of obligations. Insurance law constantly alludes to it - for instance, when drawing up a contract, penalising the non-performance of obligations or the use of direct action and the mechanisms for stipulation for another and, in many respects, offers solutions particular to it.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught in the form of lectures. Regular reference is made to contractual documents (general and special conditions of an insurance policy).
Case studies and legal decisions will also be studied with the aim of examining the subject in detail or finding the rule applicable to a given situation.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

The course is taught in the form of lectures.

Recommended or required readings

Students will be given course notes including numerous doctrinal and case-law references. They will also be provided with documents, including those drawn from practice, in particular, insurance contracts, an example of a rider or a payment notice, various 'subscription form' and published and unpublished case-law decisions.
The course notes and the documents are available from the Press Universitaires de Liège.
PowerPoint presentations will be made available as we advance through the materials.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students are assessed by oral examination. They may bring their code with them.
Students may cross-reference articles, underline or highlight some passages of the legal text and insert post-it notes in the code but only to identify the various legal sources (laws and royal decrees on implementation). Comments or annotations are not permitted

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

The course is held every uneven year (2017-2018, 2019-2020,...).