389.01 Insurance Law

Insurance is a trillion dollar per year industry and serves significant social and economic functions across society. Insurance is premised on the fundamental concepts of risk management and risk transfer. Attorneys specializing in a wide-variety of practice areas should appreciate the importance of insurance when advising on commercial transactions and seeking to resolve all types of disputes. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of basic insurance law concepts, particularly in the context of Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance, the most common type of liability insurance maintained by businesses of all sizes and in all industries across the United States. Students will gain a practical understanding of insurance theory and the significance of insurance in risk management and risk transfer; the business of insurance, including the roles of the various players and the nature of various insurance products; principles of insurance contract construction and application; and some of the more frequently disputed insurance coverage issues in the context of CGL insurance policies. The course will also cover basic regulatory concepts and London Market/Bermuda Market-specific topics, as well as the emergence of specialty-related insurance products (cyber, media, pollution liability, etc.)

The final exam will be in the form of a take home writing assignment – it will consist of researching various insurance coverage issues and writing an opinion memorandum to a client (10-12 pages; open book/research using Westlaw/Lexis). Students will have at least a week to prepare.

Special Notes:


Spring 2024

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
Group project(s)
Class participation
Richard Nicolaides
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW-389-01-Sp24
Email list: LAW-389-01-Sp24@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Areas of Practice
Course Areas of Practice