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Insurances

ship, insured, policy, loss, risk, liable, insurer and policies

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INSURANCES, risks against which may be made. Insurances may be made against all the risks or perils which are incident to sea voyages, subject, however, to cer tain exceptions, founded in public policy and the interests of humanity, which re quire, that in certain cases men shall not be permitted to protect themselvesagainst some particular perils of insurance. But an insurer cannot make himself answera ble for a loss proceeding from the fault of the insured. No insurance can be made, even against the perils of the sea, upon illegal commerce. In order to con fine insurances against real and important losses arising from the perils of the sea, and to obviate disputes respecting losses from the perishable quality of the goods insured, and all trivial subjects of litiga tion, it appears to be the general law of all states, that the insurer shall not be liable for any average loss, unless it ex ceed one per cent. beside which, a clause has been introduced into policies, that the insurer shall not be liable for any par tial loss under a given rate per cent. In England it is now constantly stipulated in all policies, that upon certain enumerated articles the insurer shall not be answera ble for any partial loss whatever ; that upon certain others, liable to partial in juries, but less difficult to be preserved at sea, he shall only be liable for partial losses above three per cent. But this does not extend to the losses, however small, called general average, and losses occasioned by the stranding of the ship, and the loss by stranding must be an im mediate loss.

Commencement and continuance of the risk. In England the commencement of the risk of the ship varies in almost every case. In outward-bound voyages, it is generally made to commence from her beginning to load at her port of depar ture. Sometimes privateers on a cruise, ships engaged in the coasting trade, or in short voyages, are insured for a limited period of time ; and in such case the risk commences and ends with the term, wherever the ship may then happen to be. If a ship is ensured from the port of Lon don to any other port, and before she breaks ground an accident happens to her, the insurers are not answerable, for the risk does not commence till she sets sail on her departure from the port of London. But if the insurance be allow ed, and from the port of London, the in surers are liable to any accident that may happen to her from the time of subscrib ing the policy. When a ship, expected to arrive at a certain place abroad, is in sured at and from that place, or from her arrival there, the risk begins from the first Imoment of her arrival at the place specified, and the words first arrival are implied, and always understood, in poli cies so worded. The risk in such cases

continues there as long as the ship is if paring for the voyage insured ; but f all thought of the voyage be laid aside, and the ship be suffered to lay there for a length of time, with the owner's privity, the insurers are not liable. In English policies, it is usually made to continue only until the ship has moored at anchor twenty-four hours in good safety, and on such policies the insurer is liable for no loss after 'hat time.

To charge the insurer, it is not enough that a luss has happened at sea, it must appear to have happened in the course of the voyage, and during the continu ance of the risk insured. Upon goods, the risk does not commence until they are actually on board the ship, and there fore the insurer is not answerable for any loss or damage which may happen to them while they are on the passage to the ship, and, in general, the risk on goods continues no longer than while they are on board the ship mentioned in the policy, and that if they be removed from on board that ship and landed, or put on board another ship, without the consent of the insurers, the contract is at an end.

Policies, with reference to the reality of the interest of the insured, are distin guished into interest and wager policies ; with reference to the amount of the in. terest, they are distinguished into open and valued. An interest policy is where the insured has a real, substantial, assign able interest in the thing insured, in which case only it is a contract of in demnity. A wager policy is a pretended insurance, where the insured has no in terest in the thing insured. Insurances of this sort are usually expressed by the words interest or no interest, or without further proof of interest than the policy, or without benefit of salvage to the in surer, and these are wholly illegal. An open policy is where the amount of the insured is not fixed by the policy, but is left to be ascertained by the insured, in case a loss should happen. A valued policy is where a value has been set on the ship or goods insured, and the value is inserted in the policy in the nature of liquidated damages, to save the necessity of proving it in case of total loss.

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