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Law of Insurance Contracts

Chapter 18 THE PERIOD OF COVER 18-1 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INSURANCE PERIOD Insurance cover is limited in time. It is limited to certain events occurring during a certain period of time. 1 If, as is common, the events are specified perils insured against, the normal construction is that the peril must occur during the insurance period, even if the peril may occur without anyone’s knowledge. 2 Of the contrary contention, that a specified peril may occur before the insurer came on risk, Bingham LJ observed that, while ultimately “all must turn on the wording of the policy in question, it would in my view need compelling language . . . to lead to so unusual a conclusion”. 3 Clearly, the usual conclusion is that the peril insured against, the event, must occur during the insurance period.

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