The Insurance Contracts Regulations 2017 alongside the Insurance Contracts and Other Laws (Repeal and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2017 have been released as exposure drafts set for commencement on 1 April 2018. The new regulations are intended to remake and improve the current Insurance Regulations 1985 which are set to be automatically repealed on 1 April 2018. The Treasury has invited members of the community to give their views on the new regulations, and responses to the consultation will be accepted until 10 November 2017.
The Legislation Act 2003 provides that all legislative instruments (aside from those that are exempt) are automatically repealed in accordance with a table contained in section 50 of that Act. As such, instruments such as the Insurance Regulations 1985 which were made in the 1980s and registered with the Federal Register of Legislation on 1 January 2005 are automatically repealed on 1 April 2018.
PROPOSED TIMING OF THE CHANGES
The commencement of the Insurance Contracts Regulations 2017 alongside the Insurance Contracts and Other Laws (Repeal and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2017 will take place on 1 April 2017.
SUMMARY OF THE CHANGES
The changes encompassed in the Insurance Contracts Regulations 2017 include:
• Making language and formatting changes to reflect contextual changes and align with current drafting practices, such as referring to ‘sections’ rather than ‘regulations’
• Restructuring provisions and using more headings to improve readability;
• Simplifying some definitions to improve clarity. This can be seen with regard to terms such as ‘warlike activities’, ‘home building’, ‘residential building’ and ‘personal belongings’
• Removing provisions that refer to periods of time that have already elapsed;
• Providing appropriate transitional arrangements.
The changes are mostly minor and do not alter the substantive meaning or operation of the provisions.
Additionally, the Insurance Contracts and Other Laws (Repeal and Consequential Amendments Regulations) 2017 (the ‘Consequential Regulations’) are intended to support the Regulations by:
• Updating the Insurance Regulations 2002 to refer to the appropriate provisions in the Regulations instead of the Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985;
• Updating the Terrorism Insurance Regulations 2003 to refer to the appropriate provisions in the Regulations instead of the Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985; and
• Repealing the Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985 as it is being remade by the Regulations.
COMMENTARY AND SUBMISSIONS
Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft legislation and supporting explanatory material available at the Treasury website. Submissions for this consultation will close on 10 November 2017.
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