The limitation of time whenever a foreign law governs an insurance or reinsurance contract


di Avv. Angelo Boglione

Under Italian law the limitation period is a matter of substantive rather than procedural law.

If the insurance or reinsurance contract is by mutual agreement governed by a foreign law such law shall be applied by Italian Courts or Arbitrators in compliance with the the Rome Convention of 19th June 1980 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (nowadays "Rome I").

In Italy reinsurance is primarily based upon the commercial practice mirrored in the forms and clauses universally adopted by practitioners.
Authoritative Italian writers and commentators maintain that the reference in an insurance policy to an English form does not imply per se the intention of the parties to submit the contract to English law but rather to import, in so far as usual market clauses are concerned, the interpretation given them by English Courts which the parties are presumed to know and to rely on. This applies to reinsurance too.