Common Law, Civil Law and the Single European Market for Insurances

32 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2006

See all articles by Giesela Ruhl

Giesela Ruhl

Humboldt University of Berlin


Fifty years after the foundation of the European Communities the Single Market for insurances has not yet become true. Despite the harmonisation of insurance supervision law insurance companies still essentially refrain from cross-border activity when it comes to small commercial and consumer risks. Since this finding is usually attributed to the lack of common rules on insurance contracts this article sets out to lay the foundation for the harmonisation of the corresponding national laws. By providing a comparative analysis of two of the most pervasive issues in consumer insurance contract law the article proves that common law and civil law are not as far apart as commonly assumed. It, thus, refutes the widely held belief that the insurance contract laws of common law and civil law countries are too different to be harmonised.

Keywords: Insurance, Contract, Insurance Contract Law, Common Law, Civil Law, English Law, German Law, Duty of Disclosure, Warranties

JEL Classification: K12, K29, K39, K33

Suggested Citation

Ruhl, Giesela, Common Law, Civil Law and the Single European Market for Insurances. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 56, January 2007, Available at SSRN:

Giesela Ruhl (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

Unter den Linden 9
Berlin, D-10099

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