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BEING A PLAIN EXPOSITION OF THE PRINCIPLES
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING CLAIMS FOR, AND THE
TOTAL AND AVERAGE LOSSES.
J. PERRY GODFREY, Esq.,
OF GRAY'S INN, SOLICITOR.
J. D. POTTER,
SOLE AGENT FOR THE SALE OF THE ADMIRALTY CHARTS,
AND 11, KING STREET, TOWER HILL.
Entered at Stationers' Hall.
232. 9. 130.
THE author of these pages will doubtless render himself liable to a charge of great presumption in undertaking to write so small a treatise relating to Marine Insurance with the hope that it will be of any practical use to those connected with such matters, regard being had to the number of books already written upon the subject, books too which are both complete and exhaustive, and have the merit of acknowledged worth and standard authority.
His reasons for penning the following pages are, the acknowledged want of some book of this kind frequently expressed by shipowners themselves. They complain, with truth, that all existing works upon Marine Insurance are too expensive, and too learned for shipowners generally; so that whenever they are urged by necessity to consult such works, they find themselves doomed to encounter a multitude of quotations and references to cases, to be found only in the voluminous reports, which fill up the libraries of those learned in the law. Indeed all this mass of erudition is appalling, as well as puzzling to the shipowner, who is chiefly anxious to
secure a plain exposition of the principles of Marine Insurance.
The well known legal maxim, Ignorantia juris non excusat, renders it incumbent upon every one to acquire some knowledge of the legal principles that govern the decision of our Law Courts upon cases likely to arise in their particular branch of commercial pursuits.
The principles governing the law of Marine Insurance are well defined, and are based more upon equity and common sense than those which regulate certain other branches of our law.
An individual whose engagements are more or less connected with Marine Insurance should first clearly understand what may be insured, and by and with whom the insurance may be effected; and then he ought to ascertain what risks the policy is intended to cover, together with the nature of the several clauses usually inserted in all policies, not forgetting, at the same time, that all special warranties are strictly construed, and that the whole of the policy is explained upon equitable grounds. Having fully made himself master of these points, he must bring into operation the principles of common sense, for the purpose of forming an opinion as to what is right and just: he need not then go far wrong in forming a correct judgment as to the ultimate result of all disputed cases.
As it is not the author's intention to offer this small production to the cricitism of the legal cognoscenti; but simply to meet the acknowledged wants of the ship
owner and the public generally, in providing them with a little book of this kind divested of all abstruse points of law, all learned quotations, all reference to cases, and without any attempt beyond that of rendering it plain and useful, he trusts that his endeavours may prove not only acceptable, but, in the result, successful.
The writer is indebted to Mr. J. Dormer Neale, formerly Secretary of the Port of Goole Chamber of Commerce, for many practical suggestions.
GRAY'S INN, LONDON.