Formalities – common law did not suggest that we should have an insurance contract to be in any specific form. See Jupiter General Insurance Co. Vs Kassanda.
The contract of insurance must satisfy basic requirements of a contract at common law, it must be characterized by an offer which is unequivocally accepted and consideration must be furnished. The parties must have intended there dealing to be a legally binding agreement. A contract of insurance must be in writing by some note or memorandum. However, this was not the requirement. At common law parole contract of insurance was enforceable.

  1. Jupiter General Insurance Co. Vs Kassanda.
  2. Murfit Vs Royal Insurance Co. [1922] TLR 334
  3. Ackman Vs Policy Holders Protection Board [1992] Lloyds Reports 321.

However marine insurance must be written.
Section 22 of the Marine Insurance Act provides that a contract of Marine insurance is inadmissible in evidence unless it is embodied in a policy in accordance with this Act. Under Section 23 of the Marine Insurance Act, the contract of marine insurance must specify the name of the assured or the person who effect the policy on his behalf, the subject matter of insurance and the risk insured against, the insurance duration, the sum[s] insured and the names of the insurers.
Under Section 24 of the Marine Insurance Act, a contract for marine insurance must be signed by or on behalf of the insured.  Life, fire and other types of insurance are not generally subject to any formalities. However, under the provisions of the Stamp Duty Act, a stamp duty in print must be fixed on the face of every policy without which the policy is inadmissible as evidence. Failure to fix the imprint renders the insurer liable to a fine not exceeding Kshs 2000/=
In the contract of insurance the offer is made by the proposer by completing and submitting the proposer form to the insurer. The offer must be as complete as possible in materiality setting out the type of contract and other necessary details. It must be communicated to the insured. The proposal form is standard and so are the terms and are subject to minimum negotiation. The insured [proposer] must have insurable interest.
The bargain element cases include.
  1. ReYager Vs Gurdian Association Co. [1912] 108 MT 38
  2. Stir Fire and Burglary Insurance Co. Vs Davidson [1902] 5 AC 38
  3. Interfoto Picture Library Vs Sulhoute Visual program [1989] QB 432
  4. Rust Vs Abbey Life Assurance Co [1979] 2L.R. 334 (Lloyds)


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