Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Law: Insurance Law: LibGuide - online library support

Online library support for your insurance law research

Welcome to the Insurance Law LibGuide

There is a wide variety of information available to help support your insurance law research.

Many of the resources are available online so that you can access the materials 24/7 from wherever you are located.

Use this guide so that you are aware of all the different types of resources that are available to you. 

If you want to check your understanding of the material, take a look at the online quiz.  

View the full Law Subject Guide for guidance on other legal materials

Law Librarian @ Exeter

Profile Photo
Lee Snook
Subjects: Law

Where to start your search - Library Search

Library Search


Search for textbooks, ebooks, journals, articles + more.


Library Search is  a good starting point for introductory material for your research.

You can search for your research topic(s) and quickly and easily retrieve details of print and electronic books, journal articles and other full text material.

You can also use it to check whether we have particular books or journals you may discover during your literature searching.

A search for consumer insurance law in Library Search returns the following catalogue results.

Note the type of content. There is a mixture of print and electronic titles

 This search finds matches in book and journal titles.  For more granular searching within the content of books and journals you should use the Articles + more feature of Library Search and the research databases.

A search for international insurance journal will find the following matching journal titles.

A search for insurance law utmost good faith in Library Search returns the following articles + more results.

Note the type of content. There is a mixture of print and electronic texts and commentary, but at a far more granular level than with the catalogue search.  

There is a wide range of content from various full text resources, with journal articles that match your search terms.

Use the Library Search LibGuide for help and guidance on searching

Expand your search - Key databases

Online research databases are invaluable resources. You can use them to find primary legal materials such as case law and legislation, as well as commentary sources such as books, journals, encyclopediae etc.

As well as holding valuable research materials, they offer sophisticated search interfaces and functionality, with plenty of options to refine your searches and explore related research materials. They can  help you see the law in context by showing how the law has developed overtime and linking you to related commentary, cases and legislation on the area you are researching

Library Search is often a good starting point for introductory material, but if you want to research the global literature on a topic, and go beyond quick full text results, then you should follow up with a database search. You can tailor your search more precisely using all the sophisticated functionality available on the research databases. 


A wide range of legal databases are available to you. Use the Law Databases in the Databases A-Z List to select the specific resource source you require.   

They provide full text access to books, journal articles, reports, case law, legislation, official publications and more. 

They can also help you see the law in context by showing how the law has developed overtime and linking you to related commentary, cases and legislation on the area you are researching

Four key legal databases are flagged here: JustisOne, Lexis and Westlaw.  You will use these databases frequently for your insurance law research. 

There are many other databases available to you. Take a look at the full listing to discover all the resources.  As you move through your studies and research you will use other resources to meet particular research needs, e.g. you may need to use a specialist resource for a particular branch of law - e.g. maritime law or family law. or you may need to look at law from a particular jurisdiction such as French Law or German Law.  Specialist databases provide key resources in this area, beyond the content that you will find in databases such as Lexis and Westlaw. 

You may also find that you use databases from other disciplines, particularly if your research extends into wider social science disciplines. For example, you might want to explore databases for CriminologyBusiness, or Politics & International Relations.  You can find these and other in the A-Z Databases List. Just choose a subject to see all the recommended databases for that subject area.


Explore the Law listing so that you are familiar with all the resources that are available to you. 

Some of they key resources that you are likely to find most useful for this module are highlighted in the remainder of the guide

i-law is a specialist legal database and has a wide range of material related to commercial and insurance law.  At the University of Exeter you have accsess to the following practice area:

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Insurance & reinsurance
  • Maritime & Commercial

There are other practice areas within the database and although you can search across them to discover content you will not have access to the full text resources for these.


There is a 2 step login process for this database

  1. Click on the link to i-law from the Database A-Z list and login with your IT Services username and password
  2. Login on within the i-law site with your email address only to access the full text content
Click on the Login button on the ilaw home page, as shown here.



Enter your Exeter email address and click on Login


You can search and browse for content across all subject areas.  Alternatively, select a practice area from the left hand menu.

In the examples shown below, the Insurance & Reinsurance practice area has been selected.  You can browse through the full text publications available to you rom the left hand side,  quickly click on links to view recently added content such as the latest law reports, or search for content by citation or through topic searching. offer extensive Help materials to enable you to build your skills and make the most effective us eof the database.

A comprehensive user guide is available as well as online videos and options for booking an online training webinar.


***JustisOne is an enhanced legal platform which replaces the JustCite service***


JustisOne s a great starting point for finding the legal information you need.

It is a legal research platform that provides access to UK superior court judgments and legislation, and also quickly  and easily links you to law reports available in full text on other research platforms such as Lexis and Westlaw etc.

It has a number of useful research tools that help you to look at the law in context and explore related content.

For example when you are viewing case law it  shows you whether your case has been referred to in other cases and whether it has been upheld or overruled subsequently.  A very nice added value feature is the precedent map which shows you the context of your case in a visual way. It helps you visualise relationships between cases and find other cases related to your line of enquiry.

When you are looking at a piece of legislation you can see if there are related cases or journal articles, and check on the status of provisions to see if they are still in force or have been amended.

Plenty of online help is available.  It is recommended that you use the training materials to explore the database and then take the online proficiency test to build and test your skills. you'll gain an electronic certificate to acknowledge your new skills.

JustisOne: User Guide & Videos and Proficiency Test 

A very useful JustisOne Law Student Handbook is also available.  This handbook was created by law school graduates with help from law school academics to help you make the most of JustisOne and lean about the importance of legal research.


Lexis Library is a major legal database used in most large law practices as well as Universities.

It has the full text of UK case law, legislation and core journals published by Butterworths, plus a range of legal commentaries

You can search by subject, author or citation in order to find the material you require. 

You can also read reference works like Halsbury’s Laws of England and the  Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents. online. 

As well as UK material, you can access international material too. Use the Sources tab to explore the content from the various international jurisdictions. The Lexis guide on International Sources will assist you to find the content you need,

It is worth spending time building your skills in using Lexis so that you can search and find content in the most effective way.

Comprehensive online guidance is available for the database and you can also sit an online test to certify your legal research skills 


A complementary legal database is Lexis PSL which is a legal reference tool you can use to explore different practice areas in detail.  There are a number of areas that you may find it useful to explore for your insurance law research, such as Arbitration Commerical, Corporate, Dispute Resolution.

The following screenshot gives you a flavour of the sort of information you can find in the commercial practice area.


Westlaw is a major legal database providing full text access to UK , US and international case law, legislation, journals. books and other legal information sources.  

Find out more on the Westlaw UK Libguide.

You can build your online legal research competencies with Westlaw's training and certification scheme

Practical Law

Practical Law is an online legal know-how service which works hand in hand with Westlaw UK.

Lexis and Westlaw provide access to a wide range of journal titles.  However, access to early volumes of journal titles is not typically available in these large databases.  Current content is available;  sometimes access to volumes from mid 1980s onwards is provided; but where titles have been available for many decades then the earlier decades are not typically available.

If you need to  look at articles from earlier volumes of the legal journals. then you should use one of the journal archive services.  There are two key journal archive services or relevance toi legal research. 

The easiest way for you to check on journal coverage is to use the Library Search service.

In this example you can see that for the key journal International and Comparative Law Quarterly

  • the up to date content is available via Westlaw and direct from Cambridge University Press
  • earlier volumes of the journal are available via the journal archive services, including Hein and JSTOR - right back to the first volume in 1952



Justcite, Lexis and Westlaw are three of the most commonly used databases throughout  University law schools and the legal profession.  If you are planning to pursue a career in the legal field, you will want to ensure you have developed the necessary online research skills to make the most effective use of online databases.

All these services provide online help and training so that you can build your online legal research competencies.  They also provide certification schemes, allowing you to sit an online test and receive a certificate which acknowledges your achievement.  These certificates are a useful way for you to evidence your online legal research skills on your CV or at interview. 

Access the materials below

If you want to boost your skills and document your achievements for you CV then these schemes could be just what you are looking for. 

Effective Searching & Referencing

It is important to plan your search strategy, and manage your search results so that you get the most from your online searching.

Keep a record of all the material you need to cite in your assignments, papers, projects etc. 

Use the Search Techniques and Referencing guidance to assist you.

  • It is  easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available to you.  
  • Invest time in planning an effective online search strategy so that you can quickly and easily discover relevant and high quality information. 



As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.

Top Tip

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

For more guidance take a look at:


Citing Legal References

All the books, articles, reports and websites you have consulted for your essay or dissertation must be listed. References must always be given; a bibliography is normally expected in dissertations or longer essays.

  • References are a list of the sources you have directly quoted or paraphrased, numbered in the order they are mentioned in your text

  • a Bibliography is normally an alphabetical list, by author, of all the background material you have consulted, even if you haven't quoted directly

It is important to provide precise bibliographic information for all of your sources. By using proper citation and referencing methods you can avoid plagiarism, and enable readers to follow your line of research.

All the books, articles, reports and websites you have consulted for your essay or dissertation must be listed. References must always be given; a bibliography is normally expected in dissertations or longer essays.

  • References are a list of the sources you have directly quoted or paraphrased, numbered in the order they are mentioned in your text

  • a Bibliography is normally an alphabetical list, by author, of all the background material you have consulted, even if you haven't quoted directly

It is important to provide precise bibliographic information for all of your sources. By using proper citation and referencing methods you can avoid plagiarism, and enable readers to follow your line of research.

How to cite

Special rules apply to legal citation. Legal writers normally make use of standard abbreviations for series of law reports and journal titles. Refer to the Legal Abbreviations guidance for advice on interpreting and using abbreviations.

A referencing standard called OSCOLA (The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities) has been developed to facilitate accurate citation of authorities, legislation, and other legal materials. It is widely used in law schools and by journal and book publishers in the UK and beyond. OSCOLA is edited by the Oxford Law Faculty, in consultation with the OSCOLA Editorial Advisory Board.

You can download and use:

Full 4th edition of OSCOLA to help you format your references

FAQs for material types not covered in 4th ed. Includes:

  • A source cited in a secondary source

  • A judgment citing another judgment

  • Ebooks

  • Book reviews

  • Radio programmes

  • Speeches

  • Dictionaries

  • Podcasts, YouTube etc

OSCOLA Quick Reference guide, for commonly used legal materials

OSCOLA Citing International Law guide 

Additional guidance on citing foreign or international materials can be found in the online Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations produced by the New York University School of Law.

Support Materials

At first, legal citations can seem daunting.  Take advantage of the wealth of support material that is available online to help you build your skills and confidence.

Online Guides

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies has a detailed online guide which will help you format your citations appropriately - it is highly recommended as a support tool.  

Numerous other guides are available.  Here is a selection of our favourites, which include plenty of worked examples so you can see how to cite in practice:

Finch and Fafinski, who author a number of student friendly legal skills materials, also provide a free downloadable guide to answer some common referencing queries and introduce you to the basics of OSCOLA referencing for legal materials.


You can also build your skills through Cardiff University's interactive online tutorial Citing the law, which is based on OSCOLA.


If you prefer a more visual approach to learning, try one of the many OSCOLA videos on YouTube or the TedEd introductory OSCOLA lesson.

Using reference software


If you wish to use Endnote, to manage your references you will need to import the OSCOLA style as it is not a standard style for Endnote.  Full guidance is given on Oxford Law's OSCOLA support pages.  

You need to import the OSCOLA endnote style (.ens file) and the OSCOLA RefTypeTable (.xml file) to your Endnote program.  

You can opt to import some additional useful files:

  • A sample library (useful to check you are formatting your references properly)

  • A Journals List terms (useful for provising standard abbreviations for your journal citations)

Direct Import of references to Endnote

Unfortunately, no databases currently export cases or legislation direct to Endnote, all need to be added as manual references. Refer to the OSCOLA style guide and sample library to help you create your own references.

However, materials such as legal articles, books, papers etc. can be downloaded to your Endnote Library from a variety of databases such as ISI Web of Science, JSTOR, Google Scholar etc.

As for Legal Databases, LexisLibrary has no direct import filter.  You can download journal references only from Westlaw and Hein Online but you will need to check and edit your imported references as full and correct information is not always transferred, for example author, volume and/or issue details are sometimes missing. Use the OSCOLA guide and sample library to edit your references.

Westlaw Endnote User Guide

Hein Online User Guide   Use Hein's bookmark function to export to Endnote. Note that you do not need to create a MyHein account if you only wish to download your bookmarks during your current search session and then transfer them to Endnote.  If you wish to retain bookmarks between sessions you should set up an account. 


These bibliographic software packages will also work to help legal scholars format cases, legislation, articles and books in compliance with the OSCOLA standard.

More information and guidance materials are available on the OSCOLA website

You will find that abbreviations are used throughout the scholarly and practitioner legal literature to refer you to journal articles and case law reports. 

Law reports examples

AC             Appeal Cases

All E.R      All England law reports 

Env.L.R.    Environmental law reports


Journal Title Abbreviation Examples

AJIL              American Journal of International Law

ICLQ             International & Comparative Law Quarterly

IHRR             International Human Rights Reports

Many databases will allow you to use the abbreviation when searching.  

However sometime you might need to know what the abbreviation stands for in order to work out whether you have access to the material, such as when you are running a journal title search within the Library Search Service.

If you come across any abbreviations that you are unsure of from your database searching or from bibliographies or reference lists, then you can quickly check them out in the Index.

You can search by abbreviation to find the title. You can also do the reverse and search by publication to find the standard abbreviation used for that title.

Contact Us