Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed]

of agents, it is a settled rule of law that such acts are only binding upon the principal, to the extent of the agency or delegated power; and for any such act, the power may be either express or incidental to the office conferred. The employment of an agent in any particular capacity gives the necessary authority to act under ordinary circumstances only. If an emergency occurs, an act of agency in excess of authority is upon the agent's own responsibility, and he must take the chance of the approval or disapproval of his principal. So an action may be brought against an agent who, by making an inaccurate statement as to the extent of his authority, induces any person to enter into a contract.

While the principal duties of an ins. agent are to obtain applications to ins., and to receive and remit the necessary prems., other duties often for convenience devolve upon him. The powers and responsibilities of an agent are hence frequently considerable. As a rule the agent can only enter into a temporary contract pending the decision of the Co., such as the accepting a Fire Ins. risk by deposit receipt until the office has determined upon the proposal. Where an agent is publicly advertised and officially accredited as the agent by the Co, he is assumed by the public to possess the powers customarily entrusted to Ins. agents. It is therefore essential that he should scrupulously keep within the instructions issued for his guidance.-Ins. Agent.

Persons acting in the capacity of agents for Ins. Asso. must closely follow the instructions of their principals (the asso. and its proper officers), and by no means attempt to exceed the limits of the delegated authority. They cannot bind the Co. so as to alter the conditions of any contract of ins. or revive a lapsed policy without the express previous approval of the Directors; and cannot involve it in any fresh liability by pledging it to any new or additional ins. contract. Neither are they empowered, without express authority, to receive notices of assignment, notices of claim, or other notices on behalf of the Co., which shall be binding upon it.-Bunyon.

In the case of Acey v. Fernie, an agent issued a receipt after the lapsing of a policy, such receipt bearing on the face of it a clause to the effect that if the receipt was not taken up within 15 days of the prem. becoming due, it must be returned to the office, "as after that period, the ins. being cancelled, the several receipts will be of no avail." It was held that the agent had no authority for what he had done, and that the receipt proved it.

An agent cannot delegate his rights to another so as to bind the principal, unless expressly authorized to nominate a sub-agent.

The insured is liable for any misrepresentation or concealment made by an agent acting under his orders, and who is in any wise instrumental in procuring the ins. ; and the concealment of any material fact known to the agent, even though not known to the insured, may avoid the contract. This principle was settled in the case of Fitzherbert v. Mather, by Lord Mansfield in 1785; and by Lord Ellenborough in Gladstone v. King in 1813. They were both Marine Ins. cases. Similar decisions have been given in the U.S. If the agent of the office act also as agent of the insured in effecting the ins., even an unintentional mis-statement through such agent may be a breach of warranty. This was decided by Lord Lyndhurst in Parsons v. Bignold, 1846.

When an agent undertakes to obtain an ins. for a third party, he should execute the commission with diligence, for he may be liable to an action for neglecting to do so; and this is equally true whether the party undertaking the commission is an ins. agent or not, and although he may act gratuitously in the matter, as was settled in the case of Wilkinson v. Coverdale (1793). Should a discretion be allowed him, he will be liable if he deals with asso. or persons who are not responsible; and the measure of his liability will be that of the insurers. Should he be unable to effect the policy, to prevent any right of complaint or liability attaching against himself, he should give notice of his inability to the intending insurer.

In the case of Linford v. The Provincial Horse and Cattle Ins. Co., which came before the Master of the Rolls in 1864, it was held that an ordinary local agent of an ins. co. is not, without special authority, authorized to bind the Co. by a contract to grant a policy. The facts of the case will be given in more detail in the hist of that particular Co.

The power of a general agent for a mercantile company must be ascertained by the usage of the trade; and the mode of transacting bus. in that department in which he is employed will, in the absence of express directions, often determine a doubt as to the liability of the principal. The principal officers of an Ins. asso., such as the managing director, sec., or actuary, fill the character of general agent, and possess all such powers as may be necessary for enabling them to conduct the buisness of their offices. They may be responsible for the fraud of the Co., and for false accounts issued by it, in like manner as directors may be, and that not only in damages at common law, but penalty by statute.— Bunyon.

As between the agent himself and the Co. if the directors appoint him, and allow him to act as agent of the Co., and he does so act bonâ fide, and without notice of any irregularity in his appointment, the Co. will be liable to him for his salary, although he may not have been appointed precisely in the manner prescribed by the regulations of the Co. This was estab. in Browning v. Great Central Mining Co.

Mr. Lindley, reviewing this and other decided cases, offers the following important observations:

These cases, it is submitted, warrant the proposition that if the directors of a Co. permit a person to act as its agent in matters within the scope of the bus. of the Co., and in matters in which the directors have power to act by an agent, such person, whether irregularly appointed or not, is, as between the Co. and third parties, dealing bona fide with him, without notice of his warrant of proper authority, the agent of the Co. for all the purposes for which he is employed. But his authority does not extend beyond these limits; and the above proposition and the cases supporting it are in no way invalidated by others in which Cos. have been held not bound by acts done by their agents, when acting beyond the limits set by the nature of their employment.

In the event of an agent subs. a policy of Marine Ins. on behalf of an underwriter for a sum in excess of a limitation imposed upon him by the latter, it has been decided that the underwriter is not liable for any portion of the sum affixed to his name, even although the insured be ignorant of this particular restriction, provided it is notorious in the place where the contract is entered into that some limitation is imposed by underwriters upon their agents. This was so determined in Baines 2. Ewing, Exchequer, June, 1866, a Marine Ins. case. It is seen therefore that the saying-almost a proverb-that the principal is liable for the acts of his agent-requires a very large amount of explanation and qualification.

It is above all things the duty of an agent to keep regular accounts of all his transactions, and to pay over in due course all monies received by him on behalf of his Co. Should he mix the monies received by him on the agency account with his own, paying them to the same account with a banker, he must bear the loss of the failure of the latter. This was settled in Massey v. Banner; and he may even become liable for interest on a balance when improperly retained. Should he presume to speculate with the sums received, he will be liable to account for the profits; and such investments even in stock may be subject to a specific lien on the part of the principal. He will not, however, be liable for unavoidable losses, as the failure of a banker in whose bills he may have made a remittance, or in whose hands, in the absence of directions, he may have deposited the money received to a separate account (Massey v. Banner); or where he is robbed of the specific monies, whether the felony is committed in his house or upon his person.-Bunyon.

These rules also generally apply to agents of Friendly Societies. In the U.S. the powers of agents are much larger in some cases, as they not only accept Fire risks, but fill up blank policies supplied them for the purpose. Their responsibilities generally follow the law here laid down.

AGENTS' BALANCES -Comment is frequently made at the ann. meetings of Ins. Asso. as to the largeness of the "agents' balances" as shown by the accounts submitted. In a great measure the complaint results from the want of knowledge of the persons making it. The system upon which most Ins. offices proceed is to debit the agents at the end of each month with the renewals falling due in the course of the next succeeding month. The policy-holders have in some 15, in most 30 days' grace for payment of prems. ; and the money does not come into the hands of agents until the policy-holders take up their receipts. The agents having received the prems., should at the earliest moment remit to the office, that the accumulated sums may be placed at int. by the asso. The system could be altered by adopting a system of "renewal suspense account." AGENTS, KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY.-With agents of ins. asso. the proverb that "knowledge is power" applies with peculiar force. The man who knows most of the theory and practice of the particular branch of ins. which he is engaged in advocating, should, all other things being equal, be the most valuable agent to his particular Co. In add. to a general knowledge of the bus., the agent requires to know not only every point concerning his own office, but also a great deal concerning others; by these means only will he be able to make way in these days of increasing competition. It is within the scope of the present work to afford much of the general information spoken of; while it also affords much information concerning individual offices-not derived from the offices themselves, but from altogether independent sources- "never before made public." We enumerate in a separate art. the chief pub. which have been specially addressed to agents. Ins. literature generally abounds in the moral elements, but is wanting in facts. The facts will be supplied in the present work.

AGENTS, LITErature for.-Numerous pub. have of late years been specially addressed to agents with a view to their encouragement and aid. The following may be specially mentioned as among the more prominent :

1848. Agents' Hand-book of Life Assu. and a few remarks on Fire Ins.

Life Assu. Record, intended more particularly for the use of provincial agents of assu. offices of Lond.

1849. Agents' Hand-book of Fire and Life Ins. 2nd ed.

1852. Ins. Agents' Assistant. Popular Essay on Life Assu.

Gilbert Currie.

1854. Life Agents' vade mecum, and practical guide to success in Life Assu. bus. J.

Baxter Langley.

1857. Insurance Guide and Hand-book. Cornelius Walford. 2nd ed. 1867. [Layton's

[ocr errors]

and Goodsell's.]

Life Ins. Agency, Practical Instructions. John Brokenshir. 1869. Handy Book for Life Ins. Agents. H. R. Sharman.

1870. Practical Aids for Life Ins. Agents. 1871. The Life Agent, by the same author.

10th ed.

Philip Sayle, jun. 2nd ed. 1871.

[Layton's and Goodsell's.]

In the U.S. are some excellent pub. addressed to ins. agents; Mr. C. C. Hine, of the Ins. Monitor, pub. the following:

1. Hine's Instruction Book for Agents. 2. Agents Advertiser. 3. Life Agents' Aid, by Henry W. Smith. 4. Agents' Monetary, Life, and Valuation Tables, by D. P. Fackler, actuary. 5. The Duties of Agents of F. Ins. Cos. in regard to losses (a most excellent publication). 6. Agents' Manual of Life Assu., by Dr. Fish.

The Messrs. Goodsell, of the Spectator, pub. the following: 1. Practical Hints to Life Agents, by an Old Workman. 2. Agents Manual of Life Ins., English and German. 3. Life Agents' Arithmetic: an easy, clear, and comprehensive solution of the actuarial mysteries of Life Ins., by John Maurice, actuary. 4. The Life Agents' Canvassing Cupons, an excellent contrivance. Some of the works in the Monitor list are also in Messrs. Goodsell's list [Goodsell's are agents for Layton's, and vice versa]. All we have seen of the above works are clear, concise, and practical; in a word, admirably adapted to their purposes. AGES AT DEATH.-It is important, especially from a Life Ins. point of view, to know the ages of the people at their death. It is still more important to know their ages in relation to the causes of death. The reports of the Registrar-General furnish us with the most authentic general information which can be obtained. They have the further advantage of distinguishing the sex. An abstract of these Tables will be given under DEATH,


AGES IN REGISTERS OF DEATHS.-It was not until 1728 that the ages of persons dying were generally inserted in the parish registers. This improvement was introduced on the suggestion of Smart, the author of the Ins. Tables bearing his name. [PARISH REGISTERS.] AGES OF INSUred Life.—This subject has to be divided under two heads-first, the age at which lives become ins.; second, the age at which ins. lives die. Mr. Babbage said in his Comparative View (1826) that he found the average age at which persons then ins. was 47. Mr. Arthur Morgan said in 1834: "The lives ins. in the Equitable were found to have been admitted generally between the ages of 30 and 50, a very large proportion between 30 and 40, comparatively few under 28-30." In 1843 he said, 35 is the average period at which people ins. with us." Dr. Farr said in 1853 (12th Report Reg.-Gen.), "The average age at which ins. is effected is about 35 years.'

In the U.S. the average is as nearly as possible the same. It is a healthful sign of the business when young lives ins. in greater numbers than the older ones. Such ins. indicate investment for the benefit of families.

We may offer the following details concerning the ages at which ins. lives die.

In the Equitable So. during a period of over 60 years, 1762-1828, out of 21,398 members, of whom, however, 9,324 had discontinued their ins. mostly before they arrived at a very old age, therefore we may say out of 12,074 members, 17 reached 90 and upwards, of whom 4 died at 90, 3 at 91, 2 at 92, and I at 94, leaving living 3 at 90, I at 91, 2 at 92, and I at 93. Thus 10 died at 90 or over, I dis. his policy, and 6 were living.

On the occasion of compiling the data for the 17 Offices Experience Table, 1841-3, it was found that out of 62,537 lives ins., but 5 had reached the age of 90 and upwards. These were all "Irish males," one of whom was living aged 95.

The data for the New Experience Table (1869) furnishes the following details. Out of 157,993 persons ins., 95 had reached the age of 90 and upwards; of these 58 were males and 29 females of the healthy class, and 8 were males and females of diseased classes, sexes not distinguished. Of such total numbers 24 had died at the age of 90, and 5 were living at that age; 16 had died at 91 and 2 were living at that age; 13 had died at 92, and 2 were living; 12 had died at 93, I was living, and I policy had been dis. at that age; 8 had died at 94; I at 96 and I policy dis. ; 6 had died at 97, and I was living; I died at 98, and I at 99.

We may add a few facts about individual offices. The R. Exchange in a period of
135 years had no life which survived 96. It had a policy upon which 73 ann. prem. had
been paid. The Lond. Assu. during the same period had no life that survived 90. The
Equitable since the date of the preceding obs. has had one life die at 95. The Rock
had a claim on age 94; the Union and Imperial the same. The Sun had a claim at 92;
the Atlas and Law life the same. In the case of Annuitants and Tontineers greater ages
are reached. A female life in the English Tontine of 1693 died at the age of 100, and
another was living at that age. In the Perth Tontine one of the nominees died aged 122;
another aged 107; of these statements there is, we believe, abundant proof.
attention to this subject in the Annales d'Hygiène, 1829, and stated the result of his
inquiries to be that when the mother was older than, or of equal age with the father,
more girls were born than boys; but the greater the difference of age on the side of the
father, the more the number of male children predominated. Mr. Sadler in his Law of
Pop., 1830, pursued the same subject. M. Quetelet has also investigated the question.
Mr. Samuel Brown gives in vol. iii. of Assu. Mag. a most interesting summary of the
result of their several inquiries.

AGIO. Ital. Gain or profit.-The term frequently arises in connexion with Marine Ins.
and foreign exchanges. Sometimes it is applied to bonuses on Life policies.
AGREED. This word in a deed or pol. of ins. creates a covenant.


AGREEMENT.-A joining together of two or more minds in anything done or to be done. Also the effect of a joint-consent of two or more parties to a contract or bargain.-Law Lex. AGREEMENT TO INS.-In the Canadian Courts in 1859 a case arose in which the agent for the Times and Beacon [English] Co. gave a provisional receipt to the intended insurer, of which the substance was, "the said party to be considered ins. for 21 days from the above date, within which time the determination of the board will be notified. If approved, a pol. will be delivered; otherwise the amount received will be refunded, less the prem. for the time so ins." It was held not to be an absolute ins. for 21 days certain, but that the co. might within that period reject the risk, and give notice, after which their liability would cease."-Digest of Ins. Decisions, 1868.

AGRICULTURAL INS.-Agricultural Ins. in England ranks under three heads. 1. Fire, which we shall treat of fully under FARMING STOCK INS.; 2. CATTLE INS. which we shall speak of under that head; and 3. HAIL-STORM INS. which we shall also speak of under that title.

In France, in 1857, a scheme was propounded to be called the General Bank for Agricultural Assu. It was to be divided into as many branches as there were distinct branches of Ins., viz., against Hail, against Frost, against Floods, against mort. of Animals. Each branch to have separate accounts, and dispose of its own resources. The parent Bank to be empowered by the State. The project was exceedingly well conceived. We can only notice a few of its arguments:

To annul the risks which unceasingly threaten the wealth of nations-to remedy individual injury by collective reparation-to afford by these means an immovable stability to property, and certainty to the proprietors of income-such is the object of assu.; and assuredly the principle of assu. has never given rise to an undertaking more moral, more useful, or more profitable to both public and private interests. Unfortunately, in its application, assu. has, up to the present time, shared much the same fate as the schemes which have been suggested for the redemption of national encumbrances. Simple in detail, admirable in theory, this economical and financial conception has, in practice, arrived at results comparatively insignificant.. The value of the wealth exposed to fire, hail, or to frost, to inundations and as regards animals, to mort.-is estimated at more than 200,000 millions (francs). Now the total sum assu, does not reach the sum of 40 millions. There remains then uninsured property amounting to more than 160,000 millions.

In restricting ourselves to the subject of Agricultural assu. we find results still more deplorable. The enterprises originated against fire and maritime risks have at least broached the subject which has suggested their operations; but agricultural assu. presents us only with unfruitful attempts or notorious ill-success. There is no assu. against frost; there is not any against inundations; and the Cos. which have undertaken ins. against hail, and the mort. of animals, scarcely cover more than 200,000 millions value.

The scheme was submitted by M. Perron to the Minister of Commerce and Agriculture in France, and by him submitted to the consideration of the Council of State; but it was rejected by the Council, the Emperor presiding. Some of its features have since become the subject of joint-stock enterprise.

AGRICULTURAL INS. Co.-Another project under this title was reg. in 1859, by Mr. John W. Hutchinson, of Surrey-place, Larkhall-lane. It proposed to carry on Life, Fire, Cattle, and every other description of ins. business! Its aim was greater than its means, and it never matured.

AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS, MORT. OF.-In all nations more or less civilized, the class of men who rank highest in health is that of agricultural labourers. This class is subject to a lower rate of mort., whilst it performs more labour and consumes less of the luxuries of life than any other class. Their superior health is probably due, first, to the higher capacity for labour which they possess and exercise; second, to their spending the greater part of their days in the open air; third, to the lowness of their wages, preventing them from injuring their health by the injudicious use of luxuries and stimulants.—T. R. Edmonds, 1860. [HEALTH.] [SICKNESS.]

AGRICULTURE AND GENERAL LIFE CO., founded in 1840, with an authorized cap. of £250,000. It appears to have struggled on till 1842, when it collapsed, and has since been written down a swindle.

AGRICULTURIST Cattle Ins. Co., founded in 1845, with an authorized cap. of £500,000, in 25,000 shares of £20; subsequently altered into 100,000 shares of £5. The amount of cap. paid up was returned at £76,274. The shares were well subs., and at one time rose to a prem.

The orig. prosp. stated that the Co. was founded for the protection of Farmers and Agriculturists, by ins. against those losses to which they were exposed by disease and accident among their live stock. The first scale of rates was as follows: neat cattle, 2 p.c.; young stock (under 2 years), 2 p.c.; agricultural horses, 24 p.c.; carriage horses, 3 p.c.; stallions, 5 p. c. The Co. paying three-fourths of the value in case of death. The ins. covered death "by sickness, by the slaughter of the animal in consequence of taint from any contagious or incurable disease, or by accident."

By 1848, in consequence mainly of a reckless system of management, the Co. had got into some difficulties. Mr. E. Ryley was called in to investigate the affairs. It was found that the sums ins. exceeded £2,000,000; and that there were debts actually owing amounting to £75,000. A new board of management was elected, and the rates were increased from 2 to 3 p. c. above those orig. charged; while the allowance in case of loss was reduced from three-fourths to two-thirds the value of the animal dying.

« AnteriorContinuar »