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Some Muslims believe insurance is unnecessary, as society should help its victims. "Insurance," however, need not be a commercial venture. In its purest sense, it is assistance with the adverse effects of inevitable afflictions, an arrangement beneficial to all. Schemes to ensure the livelihoods of traders and communities have been in existence for millennia. Commercial insurance on the other hand, was invented ostensibly for the same ends but with the chief beneficiaries being the shareholders and directors. Among the countless revelations Islam passed on, two prohibitions, namely riba (usury) and gharar (risk), have been used by legislators as grounds for the prohibition of insurance. Islam is not against making money, and there is no inherent conflict between the material and the spiritual. Islamic law allows igtehad (initiative) to the benefit of people as long as there is no harm to other people. Muslims can no longer ignore the fact that they live, trade and communicate with open global systems, and they can no longer ignore the need for banking and insurance. There is no prohibition in Islamic law against banking, nor insurance; similarly, Muslims can create insurance schemes that use their faith as the immutable basis for a working model. Aly Khorshid demonstrates how initial clerical apprehensions were overcome to create pioneering Muslim-friendly banking systems, and applies the lessons learnt to a workable insurance framework by which Muslims can compete with non-Muslims in business and have cover in daily life. The book uses relevant Quranic and Sunnah extracts, and the arguments of pro- and anti-insurance jurists to arrive at its conclusion that Muslims can enjoy the peace of mind and equity of an Islamic insurance scheme.
The book examines how the absence of insurance in the past led to some special maritime liability law principles such as 'general average' (i.e., losses or expenses shared by all the parties to a maritime adventure) and the limitation of shipowners' liability. In the absence of insurance, these principles served the function of insurance mostly for shipowners. As commercial marine insurance is now widely available, these principles have lost their justification and may in fact interfere with the most important goal of liability law i.e., deterrence from negligence. The work thus recommends their abolition. It further argues that when insurance is easily available and affordable to the both parties to a liability claim, the main goal of liability law should be deterrence as opposed to compensation. This is exactly the case with the maritime cargo liability claims where both cargo owners and shipowners are invariably insured. As a result, the sole focus of cargo liability law should be and to a great extent, is deterrence. On the other hand in the vessel-source oil pollution liability setting, pollution victims are not usually insured. Therefore oil pollution liability law has to cater both for compensation and deterrence, the two traditional goals of liability law. The final question the work addresses is whether the deterrent effect of liability law is affected by the availability of liability insurance. Contrary to the popular belief the work attempts to prove that the presence of liability insurance is not necessarily a hindrance but can be a complementary force towards the realization of deterrent goal of liability law.
This book discusses legal issues related to the principle of indemnity in marine insurance contracts as well as disputes that may arise in a representative sample of common and continental law jurisdictions. It offers a comparative examination of Australian, English, Canadian, French, Greek, Norwegian and U.S. law. It examines the scope for a legal reform and the potential of achieving a better, more flexible, and modern indemnification regime.
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