This three credit hour course includes a general examination and survey of the exciting world of insurance law. Contrary to popular mythology – insurance is an exciting world and, as lawyers know, it is often the silent driver in both transactional work and litigation. You will learn how to read the fine print and love it!
The course will begin with a discussion of the nature of insurance, risk management, and a brief look at their historical antecedents. The course will then look at the regulatory environment for insurance companies and examine the applicable state and federal law. The course turns to a general discussion of the policy form examining in turn persons insured, coverage, exclusions, additional insurance, and provisions relating to legal disputes. The course will move briskly into issues relating to contract interpretation and the rules of construction. The course will examine major types of insurance including health, casualty (auto and property), professional liability, and life. The course also examines the bi-lateral obligations between the insurer and the insured and explores recent developments with respect to the insurer’s obligations extending to third parties. The course will then focus on remedies available to both the insured and third-parties for the conduct by the insurer which constitutes bad faith. Throughout the class the legal focus will be on New Mexico law and at the end of the semester you will know more about New Mexico insurance case law than most lawyers.
Course requirements include participation in class, two 3 to 5 page memos, one open and one closed, one end of term paper on a topic of your choice approved by the instructors and an oral presentation in class on your paper topic. The text will be Robert Jerry’s Understanding Insurance Law and materials provided by the instructors.