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Extra resources for Cases & Mats on Marine Insurance Law
With respect to over-insurance by double insurance, s 32(1) of the Act states: Where two or more policies are effected by or on behalf of the assured on the same adventure and interest or any part thereof, and the sums insured exceed the indemnity allowed by this Act, the assured is said to be overinsured by double insurance. And, with regard to any right to contribution arising out of over-insurance by double insurance, s 80 of the Act affirms that: (1) Where the assured is over-insured by double insurance, each insurer is bound, as between himself and the other insurers, to contribute rateably to the loss in proportion to the amount for which he is liable under his contract.
Nourse LJ: [p 291] …There being no contract between the two insurers, the right of contribution depends, and can only depend, on an equity which requires someone who has taken the benefit of a premium to share the burden of meeting the claim.
The philosophy behind insurance and indemnification was summed up in the early case of Brotherston v Barber (1816) 5 M&S 418, where an insured ship was captured by an American privateer and then re-captured by a Royal Navy ship. Although the claimant, on hearing of the initial capture, claimed for a total loss, the court ruled that he could only be indemnified for a partial loss, as the ship had been re-captured. Abbott J: [p 425] …But, the great principle of the law of insurance is that it is a contract for indemnity.
Cases & Mats on Marine Insurance Law by Hodges