International Cargo Insurance




John Dunt

Scope and structure of the chapter

3.1 It was famously said by MacKinnon LJ that, “The truth is that this law of marine insurance is nothing more than a collection of rules for the construction of the ancient form of policy”.2 It has been a long tradition in works on marine insurance to describe the law and practice in the context of standard policy wordings,3 such as the Institute Cargo Clauses (A),4 which are widely used in England and Japan as well as in some of the other common law jurisdictions considered in this book.5 This chapter, in accordance with this traditional approach, concentrates on the application of English law rules to the construction of these standard clauses. Before analysing the clauses, there are, however, a number of preliminary legal issues that go to the formation of a valid contract of marine insurance, starting with the assured’s duty to disclose all material facts and not to misrepresent the risk.6 After examining these rules, there is a consideration of the formalities that apply to marine insurance contracts as required by the Marine Insurance Act 1906, including the requirement for an insurable interest.7 There follows a brief description of open covers, policies and certificates of insurance,8 before examining warranties, exclusions and other conditions.9 The English rules of causation are explained in the context of exclusions and the special English rules relating to warranties.10

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