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Insurance and the Law of Obligations$
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Rob Merkin and Jenny Steele

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645749.001.0001

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Characterizing Insurance

Characterizing Insurance

Chapter:
(p.16) (p.17) 2 Characterizing Insurance
Source:
Insurance and the Law of Obligations
Author(s):

Rob Merkin

Jenny Steele

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645749.003.0002

Introduces the complexity of insurance and questions the dominance of an actuarial model. The actuarial model is associated with distributive, collectivising techniques, and these have also been connected with the growth of an ‘insurance state’. Insurance is identified in this model with ‘loss-spreading’ of a particular form. An alternative, relational model is identified, associating insurance with risk-transfer. The relational or risk transfer model is associated with private arrangements and does not perceive insurance to be a factor extrinsic to party relationships. Further exploring the relational model, the chapter identifies the persistence both of responsibility, and of uncertainty, as important components of insurance relationships, and raises the question of how the boundary between insurance, and other means of transferring risks, might be identified.

Keywords:   Insurance, Actuarial model, Relational model, Risk transfer, Risk, Uncertainty, Responsibility, Moral hazard

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