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EXPLANATION TO THE READER.
The design of this work is that it shall be, as far as possible, self-interpreting. All technical terms used in its pages are explained in its pages, in their alphahetical order.
The arrangement of subjects is strictly Alphabetical.
The arrangement of articles is, as far as possible, Chronological. Dates are given whenever possible. Writers on Insurance subjects generally, have a great disregard for chronological exactitude.
Words in Small Capitals placed in brackets, as [USURY], mean that the subject will be further treated of under that head.
When Small Capitals are used in the text without the brackets, it signifies that the subject is, or will be, treated of as a separate article.
Offices founded in London, or books published there, are not individually so designated in the following pages. The rule we have followed is to state all the exceptions. Therefore where it is not specifically stated otherwise, London is to be assumed.
We are especially desirous of noticing all INSURANCE PAMPHLETS. Many of these are privately printed, or only accessible through their authors. Our thanks will be due for any contributions of this description.
A Table of the principal Abbreviations used in the work is given on the next page.
TABLE OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS WORK;
MANY OF WHICH ARE SPECIALLY ADAPTED TO ITS PAGES:
Accident Insurance Actuary
Life, Life Insurance Lord Justice
Liquidator, liquidation, liqui
Act of Parl. Act of Parliament
ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF INSURANCE.
ABACUS.-An ancient instrument used for facilitating numerical calculations. ABACUS: ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH EQUITABLE ASSO. "for the effecting of Mut. and the granting of Guaranteed Assu. on lives and survivorships." The Asso. was projected some 20 years since (we cannot determine the precise date), and we quote from the preliminary prosp. then issued. The Cap. was to be £500,000 in 25,000 shares of £20. "It is proposed that boards of direction, empowered to grant policies, shall be constituted at Lond. Edin. Glasgow, and other places." The Asso. was intended to embrace the following branches of business :- 1. Mut. assu. 2. The granting of "Guaranteed assu.' with parti. in profits. 3. The same without parti. The Asso. was to possess "the most complete and varied set of Tables hitherto pub. ;" and "to prevent any mistake as to what may be the value of a policy, the value which each will have acquired at the end of any completed year of its duration will be endorsed on every policy issued by the Asso. The schedule of values will be cancelled, and a new and a higher Table endorsed on those policies which have attained higher values in consequence of any additions which may have been made to the sum assu. by way of bonus, or of any diminution of future prems. The prospectus was one of the most carefully prepared we have ever met with. We have noted its really original features. The promoters indeed appear to have expended all their force on it. The project advanced no further. We believe Mr. Edward Ryley prepared the Tables, which were original and elaborate.
ABANDONEE, one to whom anything is abandoned: as an underwriter to whom a ship is
ABANDONMENT in Marine Ins. is the relinquishment by the insured to the insurer of his right to what is saved out of a wreck, when the thing insured has, by some of the usual perils of the sea, become practically valueless. Upon abandonment the insured is entitled to call upon the insurers to pay the full amount of the Ins., as in the case of a total loss. The loss is in such case called a "Constructive total loss." The damage to a cargo must exceed half its value to entitle the insured to abandon, and recover as for a total loss; and to justify the abandonment of the ship the particular injuries must be such that no repairs would render her seaworthy for the remainder of the voyage, or that the cost of making her seaworthy would exceed her value when repaired. The insured must give notice of his intention to abandon, and claim as for total loss to the underwriters, or their agents, within a "reasonable time" after he has received intelligence of the casualty, otherwise it will be taken that he intends to claim for a partial loss only. Abandonment very frequently takes place in cases of capture; the loss is then total, and no question can arise in respect of it. Where, however, a ship and cargo are re-captured within such a time that the object of the voyage is not lost, the insured is not entitled to abandon. The mere stranding of a ship is not deemed of itself such a loss as will justify an abandonment. If by some fortunate accident, by the exertions of the crew, or by borrowed assistance, the ship can be got off and rendered capable of continuing her voyage, the insurers are only liable for the expenses occasioned by the stranding. It is only where the stranding is followed by shipwreck, or the ship is in any other way rendered incapable of prosecuting her voyage, that the insured can abandon.
The subject is of great importance, as abandonment is of very frequent occurrence in Marine Ins. It is very ably handled by Arnould, Marshall, Park, and in the Law Lexicon. This right of abandonment by the Insured to the Insurer is held not to be applicable to the contract of Fire Ins. An attempt was made to enforce its adoption a few years since. The arguments on the subject are given in Bunyon's Law of Fire Ins. p. 104-5.
ABATEMENT.-Abatements for prompt payment or otherwise from the original cost of goods as charged in bills of parcels and invoices, as also allowances, discounts, drawback, etc., at the Custom-house, are often very considerable, and ought to be inquired into, and deductions made accordingly in calculating the true value of the interest insured, and in stating an average loss; which otherwise may on, some occasions be adjusted very erroneously.-Weskett. ABATEMENT OF PREMIUM.-The profits of Life Offices are sometimes said to be applied in Abatement of prem. We prefer to speak of it as Reduction of prem. ABBOTT, CHARLES (LORD TENTERDEN), pub. in Lond. in 1802: A Treatise of the Law relative to Merchant Ships and Seamen. This work bears a high character, and is frequently cited upon questions of Commercial Law. It has passed through many eds. in England and America. One of the latest in England was 1856-10th ed. by Mr. Serj. Shee. We shall quote from it in the course of these pages. Lord Eldon termed this
"an excellent work."
ABERAYRON MARINE INS. Asso. This Asso. was regis. in 1864, being "Limited by Guarantee" under the provisions of the Cos. Act of 1862. It may be regarded as an Ins. Club. ABERDEEN Assu. Co. founded in the city whose name it bears in 1825, for F. and L. Ins. Its authorized cap. was £1,000,000 in 20,000 shares of £50. The Co. has been solid and well managed from the beginning. Its business was for many years very small, and chiefly confined to the North of Scotland. In 1852 the Co. obtained an act of Incorp., on which occasion it took power to change its name, and did change it to the Scottish Provincial, under which title we shall furnish a more complete hist.
ABERDEEN FIRE INS. Asso. This Asso. was founded late in the past or early in the present century. It returned duty in 1805 to the amount of £970 145. 4d.; but we cannot trace its subsequent hist. That it had passed out of existence before 1825 may be fairly assumed by the founding of the office last named.
ABERDEEN MARINE INS. Co.-Founded in Aberdeen in 1839. It continued in business up to 1848, when it passed into Liq.
ABERDEEN MUTUAL AND FRIENDLY INS. So.-Founded in Aberdeen in 1831, for the purpose of carrying on the business of Health, Life and Fire Ins. Mr. Alex. Yeates was its Act. and Sec. We cannot trace its later hist.
ABERYSTWITH MUT. SHIP. INs. So. was projected at Aberystwith in 1853, for the purposes of Mut. Marine Ins. Whether now in existence we cannot ascertain. ABODE, habitation, or place of residence. In law it is used in different senses, to denote the place of a man's residence or business, temporary or permanent. "Abode" seems larger and looser in its import than the word "residence," which in strictness means where a man lives, i.e., where he sleeps, or is at home.-Law Lex. ABORTIVE INS. Asso.-By these must be understood Ins. Asso. which having been completely estab. in a legal sense, have either failed to do business, or have not done sufficient to maintain a separate existence. They have mostly, therefore, died out at a very early date. Some have trans. any bus. obtained to another Co., others have passed into Liq. We shall give a list of Abortive Asso. in Tables to be appended to this work. In a mortality Table of Ins. Offices they would rank as having died within the first year after birth. This would give them an average duration of six months. ABORTIVES.-See STILL-BORN CHILDREN.
ABOUT, MONS. EDMOND, pub. in Paris a few years since L'Assurance, 2nd ed. 1866. He has also contributed an interesting series of articles on Life Ins. to some of the French newspapers.
ABBREVIATION, an abridging or contracting. A Table of the Abbreviations used in this work is given on the page preceding letter A. The 4 Geo. II. c. 26 (1731), provided that all law proceedings in the English language should be written legibly, and in words at length, and not abbreviated. Those who have occasion to consult old Acts of Parl. and records will appreciate the value of this rule. The 6 Geo. II. c. 14 (1733), permitted numbers to be expressed in figures.
ABROAD, RESIDENCE.-See FOREIGN RESIDENCE. ABSENCE. The question not unfrequently arises in Ins. practice whether a person who has left his usual place of residence for some years, and has not been heard of, may be presumed to be alive or dead. As early as 1714, Nicolas Bernoulli applied the science of prob. to the solution of the question of the time after which an absent person may be reputed as dead. Our law now holds that where a person has not been heard of for seven years, he is presumed to be dead. [DEATH, PROOF OF.] ABSOLUTE ASSIGNMENT.-See ASSIGNMENT.
ABSOLUTE AND CONTINGENT REVERSIONARY INTEREST AND INVESTMENT CO., LIM.-A Co. under this title was projected in Lond. in 1862. It went no further. ABSOLUTE LIFE ASSU. So., founded in 1856, with an authorized Cap. of £100,000 in 20,000 shares of £5; mixed; profits every 5 years. "Policies are so framed as to render the amount assu. certain and absolute." Diseased lives and acclimatized lives were ins. "All-world policies" issued. “Assu. are granted payable in the event of loss of Life by fire; also to emigrants and others payable in the event of loss of Life by shipwreck during any voyage at sea, including a provision for payment of reward to persons saving the lives
of the holders." "The payment of monies assu. by policies in other assu. offices will be guaranteed on payment of a very small amount, either ann. or otherwise, thereby rendering such policies absolute." Mr. T. H. Cooper was Act. and Sec. In 1857 bus. was trans. to City of Lond., and in 1859 went over with last-named Co. to Eagle. ABSOLUTE REVERSIONARY AND ANNUITY Co.-A project under this title was regis. in 1860 by Mr. Tobiah Pepper, but it did not advance far beyond the title. ABSOLUTE SECURITY LIFE Assu. Inst.-A Co. under this title was projected in 1849 by Mr. Edward Morton, shorthand writer; but no step was taken beyond prov. regis. ABSOLUTE SECURITY LIFE AND FIRE INS. Co., founded in Lond. in 1852, and died during the same year. The promoter was Mr. G. R. H. Dension, of whom we shall give some account hereafter. The Cap. was said to be £100,000 in 50,000 shares of 2-deposit 10s. per share. The chief office was at 32, Gt. Coram St., Russell Sq., and there were branch offices at Newport, Mons., and Birmingham. The names of the Directors were used without the sanction of the parties; and, indeed, the whole thing was either a bubble or a swindle. We do not find that it was even prov. regis. ; although a scheme with the same title had been so regis. in 1849. ABSOLUTE SECURITY LIFE POLICIES.-A Life policy to be absolutely secure in the hands of its holder must have at least three essentials: it must be unforfeitable, unconditional, and unchallengeable. "When it is issued on these conditions, and acquires in proportion to the number of prems. paid a certain fixed value, either rev. or immediate, the amount of which can always be known by a mere inspection of the Tables printed upon it, it becomes a negociable security of the highest order."-Ins. Record. It wants one other condition, at least of equal importance with any yet named: It must be issued by an office thoroughly sound and unimpeachable. All these conditions being granted, there are many who doubt the propriety of such policies on account of "moral hazard. do not propose to discuss that aspect of the question here.
In 1869 the Prudential announced a scheme of "Absolute Security Assu.," which is still in force. It is a modification of the "Ten prem. plan." ABSOLUTE TOTAL LOSS.-An absolute total loss takes place when the subject ins. wholly perishes, or its recovery is rendered irretrievably hopeless, as for example, when a vessel founders at sea, or is captured, and condemned as a prize.-Arnould; McArthur. ABSTINENCE.-The influence of abstinence on the duration of life will come before us in a variety of forms, more particularly when we treat of LONGEVITY. It will be convenient to state here, that in these pages we shall not only treat of all the known causes which produce or accelerate DEATH; but we shall also mention all known or supposed causes of an opposite tendency. We shall notice only a few of the recorded cases ancient or modern of remarkable abstinence. Pliny said: A man may live seven or even eleven days without meat or drink. St. Anthony lived to the age of 105, on 12 oz. of bread daily. James the Hermit lived in the same manner to the age of 104. St. Epithanius lived thus to 115. Simeon the Stylite to 112; and Kentigern, commonly called St. Mungo, lived by similar means to 185.-Spottiswood. [FASTING.] [TEMPERANCE.] ABSTRACT OF ACTUARIAL REPORT.—The Life_Assu. Cos. Act, 1870, requires a return under this head to be made. See ACTUARIAL REPORT.
ABSTRACT OF TITLE. An epitome of the evidence of ownership. ACCEPTANCE.-The letter or other similar document agreeing to accept a proposal for a Life Assurance is technically styled an "Acceptance." It is customary to include in this certain stipulations, such as, for instance, that the risk is not undertaken until payment of the premium; that any material change affecting the health of the life occurring in the interval between the issue of the acceptance and the payment of premium is to be notified; that after a limited number of days a fresh medical report may be demanded.-Ins. Agent. ACCIDENT.-This word occurs in various ways in connexion with the business of Ins. ; its meaning is defined by several leading authorities as follows:-Casualty; unforeseen event.-Johnson. That which falls, or happens, or occurs to.-Richardson. Chance ; an unessential quality or property.—Chambers. An event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation; an event that proceeds from an unknown cause, or is an unusual effect of a known cause, and therefore not expected; chance, casualty, contingency.— Webster. Accident excludes the idea of design.-Worcester. An extraordinary incident; something not expected.-Law Dict. In Valin's famous Commentary we find the following: Insurers are responsible only for such damages as happen through casual or unavoidable accidents; or from voluntary acts which have a just and reasonable cause, such as to avoid greater and more imminent danger; and in general for all accidents however extraordinary, if there be no restriction by an express clause. But an accident is not that which happens through the defects or perishable nature of the thing insured, or through the act or fault of the proprietor, freighter, or master.
A modern writer of considerable authority says:-The foundation of claims on underwriters is accident. The damage which the vessel sustains must be something extra to the ordinary events, to the ordinary waste and decay which all shipping is subject to.-Hopkins' Handbook of Average. These remarks were applied to Marine Ins. only, but the principle which is embodied is easily discoverable, and should be extended to other branches of Ins. In the Act of Anne (1707) for "the better preventing mischief that may happen by Fire," while servants are fined severely for occasioning fires through negligence, it is provided