Proximate Cause in Marine Insurance

According to Section 55 (i) Marine Insurance Act,”Subject to the provisions of the Act and unless the policy otherwise provides the insurer is liable for any loss proximately caused by a peril insured against, but subject to as aforesaid he is not liable for any loss which is not proximately caused by a peril insured against.”

Section 55 (2) enumerates the losses which are not payable are

(i) misconduct of the assured,

(ii) delay although the delay be caused by a peril insured against,

(iii) ordinary wear and tear, ordinary leakage and breakage inherent vice or nature of the subject matter insured, or any loss proximately caused by rates or vermin or any injury to machinery not proximately caused by maritime perils.

  1. The insurer is not liable for any loss attributable to the willful misconduct of the assured, but, unless the policy otherwise provides, he is liable for any loss proximately caused by a peril insured against.
  2. The insurer will not be liable for any loss caused by delay unless otherwise provided.
  3. The insurer is not liable for ordinary wear and tear, ordinary leakage and breakage, inherent vice or nature of subject-matter insured, or for any loss proximately caused by rats or vermin, or for any injury to machinerynot proximately caused by maritime perils.

Dover says…. “The causa proxima of a loss is the cause of the loss, proximate to the loss, not necessarily in time, but in efficiency. While remote causes may be disregarded in determining the cause of a loss, the doctrine must be interpreted with good sense.”

So as to uphold and not defeat the intention of the parties to the contract. Thus the proximate cause is the actual cause of the loss.

There must be direct and non-intervening cause. The insurer will be liable for any loss proximately caused by peril insured against.

For marine insurance to be observed the understanding how proximate Cause principle is applied in marine insurance must be understood.