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Insurance Law Class Syllabus

Insurance Law Class Syllabus

Professor Ronald V. Miller, Jr.

Fall 2019

August 23, 2019

Introduction to Insurance Law

August 30, 2019

The Essence Of Risk

What is Insurance?

GAF Corp. v. County School Board

Optional on Lexis: ( 1-1 New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition § 1.03)

Nature of the Insurance Relationship

Rawlings v. Apodaca

Fundamental Assumptions

Deschler v. Fireman’s Fund American Life Insurance

Introduction to Insurance PowerPoint

September 6, 2019


Compagnie Des Bauxites, v. North America

Insurable Interests

Snethen v. Oklahoma State Union of Famers

Brewton v. Alabama Farm Bureau Mutual Casualty Ins. Co. (pp. 66-67)

Notes 1-3, 9 (pp. 67-71)

Beard v. American Agency Life Ins. Co., 314 Md. 235 (1988)

Review Maryland Insurance Administration Home Page

Insurable Interest PowerPoint

September 13, 2019

Personal Insurance

Mutual Saving Life Insurance v. Noah (pp. 72-77)

Introduction to Indemnity (pp. 92-93)

Valuation of Loss

Elberton Bathing Co. v. Ambassador Ins. Co. (pp. 93-98)

Doelger & Kirsten v. Nat. Union Fire Ins. Co. (pp. 98-102)

Notes 1-4 (pp.126-127)

September 20, 2019


An Overview of State Legislation and Administrative Regulation (pp. 171-184)

Notes (pp. 184-187)


Vlastos v. Sumitomo Marine & Fire Ins. Co. (pp. 191-195)

Note 1 (pp. 195-196)

Regulation PowerPoint

September 27, 2019

Misrepresentation of a Warranty

Berger v. Minnesota Mutual Life Ins. Co. (pp. 200-203)

Mutual Benefit Life Ins. Co. v. JMR Electrics Corp. (pp. 203-204)

Waxse v. Reserve Life Ins. Co. (p. 204)

Notes 4 & 6 (pp. 206-208)

The Limits of Regulation

Omaha Sky Divers Parachute Club Inc. v. Ranger Ins. Co. (pp. 217-219)

Notes (pp. 219-221)

In the Matter of Mostow v. State Farm Ins. Co. (pp. 233-235)

October 4, 2019


Waiver, Estoppel, and Election

Republic Ins. Co. v. Silerton Elevators, Inc. (pp. 243-247)

The Insured’s Reasonable Expectations

Clark Peterson Co. Ins. v. Independent Insurance Associates (pp. 254-258) (cheat sheet)

Notes 1, 2 & 4 (pp. 258-259)

Parole Evidence

Taylor v. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co. (pp. 272-276)

Notes 2 & 3 (p. 277-278)

Maryland on Parole Evidence and Contract Interpretation

Pacific Indemnity Co. v. Interstate Fire & Casualty Co., 302 Md. 383, 388, 488 A.2d 486, 488 (1985) (certified question)

October 11, 2019

First Party Coverage

Introduction (pp. 279-280)

Life Insurance

Crobons v. Wisconsin Nat. Life Ins. Co. (pp. 280-284)

Uniform Determination of Death Act (p. 3)

Nielsen v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co. (pp. 287-290)

Crawford v. Equitable Life Assurance Society (pp. 292-303)

Lemke v. Schwarz (pp. 303-306)

Prudential Ins. Co. of America v. Athmer (pp. 316-321)

INA Life Insurance v. Brundin (pp. 335-342)

November 1, 2019

Disability Insurance

Shapiro v. Berkshire Life (pp. 361-364)

Prudence Life Insurance Co. v. Wooley (pp. 365-367)

Health Insurance

Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. Shelton (pp. 391-398)

Fuller v. CBT Corp. (pp. 400-402)

Bullwinkel v. New England Mutual Life Ins. Co. (p. 412-416)

Note 1 (pp. 417)

Sarchett v. Blue Shield of California (pp. 419-427)

Notes 1 & 2 (p. 427)

November 8, 2019

Property Insurance

Engle v. Redwood County Famers Mutual Ins. Co. (pp. 428-431)

Youse v. Employers’ Fire Ins. Co. (pp. 431-433)

Introduction to Third-Party Coverages and Recurring Issues (pp. 535-537)

Stanley v. American Fire Casualty Co. (p. 537-540)

Notes 1, 6 and 7 (pp. 540-543) (for Note 7, refer to Appendix C in back of your text)

Third Party Coverage

Homeowner’s Insurance

AMCO Ins. Co. v. Haht (pp. 545-550)

Nationwide Insurance v. Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (pp. 550-552)

The Nature of Coverage (pp. 578-579)

The Insuring Agreement (p. 579)

November 8, 2019

Introduction to Auto Insurance: Common Coverages and Recurring Ideas (pp. 695-697)

Maryland Transportation Code § 17-103

McNeill v. Maryland Ins. Co. Guaranty Association (pp. 697-701)

DeJarnette v. Federal Kemper Ins. Co., 299 Md. 708 (1984).

Farm Bureau Mutual Ins. Co. v. Evans (pp. 702-703)

Maryland Automobile Insurance Claims (lecture)

November 15, 2019

Maryland Automobile Insurance Continued

Course Review

November 22, 2019 (Tuesday)

Let’s see if we need this day.

Course Goals

Simply stated, our goal is that we all learn a lot about insurance law and have a good time in the process. I promise to work hard towards helping you achieve both of these goals.

This two-credit course provides an overview of insurance law with a focus at times on Maryland law.

We will look at various contracts of insurance, including life, health, property, accident, and liability.

We will dig into the interpretation of insurance contracts; conditions precedent; representations; warranties; terms; conditions; coverages; insurable interests; rights of beneficiaries; exemptions; excess liabilities; waiver and estoppel; subrogation; controls on the insurance industry; procedural and evidentiary aspects, including pleadings, declaratory judgments, interpleaders, and joint tortfeasor releases.


You are expected to attend each class on time. I will pass around a sign-in sheet each class session. It is your responsibility to sign this sheet. Our school’s rule is clear: if you are absent more than three times you are precluded from taking the final exam.


Certainly, I encourage the use of laptops for notetaking and accessing the internet for class-related information. Just make sure you avoid the random laptop internet searching (involving materials that are not related to that day’s class) or instant messaging because it distracts the entire class.

Please be prepared for class every single day. I’m certainly not looking to embarrass anyone and I’m certainly not going to be critical of an unprepared student, but my teaching style does lead to asking students at random what happened in individual cases.


Two-thirds of your grade is the final exam. One-third of your grade is participation. Class participation is low hanging that is graded almost exclusively on effort – preparation, how you handle the cases and class discussion, and attendance. Included in your participation grade may be an occasional unannounced quiz. The purpose of the quiz is simply to verify that you are keeping up with your class assignments.


I am excited for a great semester! If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns, please call me at 410-779-4600 or email me at

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