LOSS IN INSURANCE, contracts. A loss is the injury or damage sustained by
the insured in consequence of the happening of one or more of the accidents
or misfortunes against which the insurer, in consideration of the premium,
has undertaken to indemnify the insured. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1215.
2. These accidents or misfortunes, or perils, as they are usually denominated, are all distinctly enumerated in the policy. And no loss, however great or unforeseen, can be a loss with the policy, unless it be the direct and immediate consequence of one or more of these perils, Marsh. Ins. B, 1, c. 12. As to the risks which are within the common policy, see Marsh. Ins. c. 7, s. 2.
3. Every loss is either total or partial.
4. The term total loss is understood in two different senses; natural and legal. In its natural sense it signifies the complete and absolute destruction of the thing inured. In its legal sense, it means, not merely the entire destruction or deprivation of the thing insured, but also such damage to it, though it specifically remain, as renders it of little or no value to the owner. A loss is also deemed total, if, by the happening of any of the perils or misfortunes insured against, the voyage be lost, or be not worth pursuing, and the projected adventure be frustrated; or if the value of what he saved, be less than the freight. See Dougl. 231; 1 T. R. 608; Id. 187; Str. 1065; 13 East, R. 323; 2 M. & S 374 1 N. R. 236; 1 Wils. 191; 4 T. R. 785 9 East, R. 283; 3 B. & P. 388; Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12; 1 T. R. 187.
5. A partial loss, is any loss or damage short of, or not amounting to a total loss, for if it be not the latter it must be the former. See 4 Mass. 374; 6 Mass. 102; Id, 122; Id. 317; 7 Mass. 349; 9 Mass. 20; 12 Mass. 170; 12 Mass. 288; 6 Mass. 479; 8 Mass. 494; 10 Johns. Rep. 487; 8 Johns. 237; 5 Binn. 595; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 553.
6. Partial losses are sometimes denominated average losses, because they are often in the nature of those losses which are the subject of average contributions; and they are distinguished into general and particular averages. See tit. Average.
7. Losses are occasioned in a variety of ways but most usually by the following: 1. By perils of the sea. See tit. Perils of the Sea. 2. By collision, as where one ship drives against, or runs foul of another. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 2. 3. By fire. Marsh. B. 1, c. 12, s. 3. 4. By capture. See tit. Capture; Marsh. Ins. B. 1. c. 12, s. 4; 2 Caines' C. Err. 158; 7 Johns. R. 449; 13 Johns. R. 161; 14 Johns. R. 227; 3 Wheat. 183; 4 Cranch, 43; 6 Mass. 197. 5. By detention of princes. By the terms of the policy, the insurer is liable for all loss occasioned by "arrest or detainments of all kings, princes, and people, of what nation, condition, or quality soever." Under these words, the insurers are liable for all losses occasioned by arrests or detention of the ship, or goods insured, by the authority of any prince or public body claiming to exercise sovereign power, under what pretence soever. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 5. See Embargo; People. 6. By Barratry. Marsh. Ills. B. 1, c. 12, s. 6. See tit. Barratry; 2 Caines' R. 67; Id. 222; 3 Caines' Rep. 1; 1 Johns. R. 229; 8 Johns. R. 209, 2d edit.; 5 Day, 1; 11 Johns. Rep. 40; 13 Johns. Rep. 451; 2 Binn. 574; 2 Dall. 137; 8 Cranch, 39; 3 Wheat. 168. 7. By average by contribution. See Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 7; this Dict. tit. Average. 8., By salvage. See tit. Salvage; Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 8. 9. By the death of animals. If animals, such as horses, cattle, or beasts or birds of curiosity, be insured in their passage by sea, their death, occasioned by tempests, by the shot of an enemy, by jettison in a storm, or by any other extraordinary accident, occasioned by the perils enumerated in the policy, is a loss for which the underwriters are liable. Not so, if it be occasioned by mere disease or natural death. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 10. 10. By fraud. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 11. See, generally, Com. Dig. Merchant, E 9, n; Bac. Abr. Merchant, 1. 5