The topic for this article is the rules on duty to contract in the Norwegian Insurance Contract Act 1989/69 (ICA) § 3-10 and § 12-12.1 Duty to contract may be absolute or partial. Absolute duty to contract means that the insurer has a duty to offer insurance to all or some groups of customers. Partial duty to contract means that the insurer may only reject an application for insurance if there is a just cause for the denial. The regulation in ICA is based on the principle of partial duty to contract.
The Norwegian regulation on duty to contract was enacted in 2009 by an amendment in the ICA after a long discussion in the market on the right to reject application for insurance because of inter alia failure to pay premium, payment remarks, high casualty frequency and different types of health problems. There are no similar rules in Denmark and Finland although the issue has been discussed in Denmark concerning inter alia natural disasters/water damage caused by extensive rain/flooding. On the contrary, the Swedish Consumer Insurance Contract Act contain rules on duty to contract. 2 It may therefore be of interest to give a presentation of the Norwegian model of these rules with a side view to the Swedish rules when convenient to outline similarities and differences. In particular, it may be of interest to see how the regulation is interpreted by the Norwegian Financial Institutions Complaint Board as the Swedish regulation today lacks a reference to such out of court dispute solution system. Further, it is of interest to see the Norwegian rules in the light of the recent evaluation of the Swedish regulation for personal insurance and the points for improvements identified in this review. 3
In the following, chapter 2 will provide an overview of the regulation and the relevant legal sources for the presentation. Thereafter the rules are presented in chapter 3 and some reflections given in chapter 4.