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Article

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History of the Development of the Warranty in Insurance Law, 20 Yale Law Journal 523 (1911)

Abstract

The history of the technical warranty in insurance law is instructive in showing how a rule, never very good or necessary, may, like more human creatures, so degenerate through later associations and changed conditions as to become positively bad, and so injurious to society that it must needs be brought to an end by legal process. In the United States, the reign of the technical warranty is almost over. For over a century it has been condemned by courts and text writers as an instrument of oppression and unfair dealing, and this sentence of condemnation is now being rapidly executed in the several states by the enactment of statutes wholly abolishing it as a rule of law. Even in those states, now relatively few, in which it has not been specifically abolished by statute, the warranty has been deserted even by its only friends, the underwriters. It is seldom that one now finds a trace of the warranty in the policies of reputable life insurance companies; and in the standard fire policy, now almost universally in use, warranties have been confined to a small and relatively un-objectionable field.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1911

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