Total Loss

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Total Loss

Meaning of Total Loss

In the context of insurance , the term denotes that the subject of the insurance has been destroyed to an extent that a reasonably prudent owner , uninsured, would not repair the remains of the same. See Ranger Ins. Co. v Kidd, (Tex. Civ. App.) 478 S. W.2d 803. In the context of fire insurance policies, the subject of the insurance is said to be totally lost when it has lost its identity and specific character even though some parts of it still remain. See Williams v Hartford Ins. Co., 54 Cal. 442. Also, Hamburg- Bremen Fire Insurance Co. v Garlington, 66 Tex. 103, 18 S. W. 337.In marine insurance , the term denotes that the vessel or the cargo or the freight , as the case may be, is destroyed in specie , that is in the character or description by which it was insured even though some of its comÂponent elements or parts remain.In marine insurance, total loss may be either actual or constructive . constructive total loss refers to situation of ship which, while still afloat and capable of repair, is in such state that cost of repair will exceed ship’s repaired value . See State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v Christensen, 88 Nev. 160, 494 P.2d 552.A loss of such a character as to authorize the insured to make an abandonment and recover as for a total loss. See standard Marine Ins. Co. v Nome beach Lighterage & Transp. Co., (C.A.9) 133 F. 636.

Total Loss Alternative Definition

In insurance. A total loss in marine insurance is either the absolute destruction of the insured subject by the direct action of the perils insured against, or a constructive sometimes called “technical” total loss, in which the assured is deprived of the possession of the subject, still subsisting in specie, or where there may be remnants of it or claims subsisting on account of it, and the assured, by the express terms or legal construction of the policy, has the right to recover its value from the underwriters, so far as, and at the rate at which, it is insured, on abandonment and assignment of the still subsisting subject or remnants or claims arising out of it. 2 Phil. Ins. c. xvii.; 2 Johns. (N. Y.) 286. A constructive total loss may be by capture; seizure by unlawful violence; as, piracy (1 Phil. Ins. § 1106; 2 Eng. Law & Eq. 85) ; or damage to ship or goods over half of the value at the time and place of loss (2 Phil. Ins. § 1608; 1 Curt. [U. S.] 148; 9 Gush. [Mass.] 415; 5 Denio [N. Y.] 342; 6 Denio [N. Y.] 282; 19 Ala. [N. S.] 108; 1 Johns. Gas. [N. Y.] 141; 6 Johns. [N. Y.] 219) ; or loss of the voyage (2 Phil. Ins. 51 1601, 1606, 1619; 4 Me. 481; 24 Miss. 461; 19 N. Y. 272; 1 Mart. [La.] 221); though the ship or goods may survive in specie, but so as not to be fit for use in the same character for the same service or purpose (2 Phil. Ins. § 1605; 2 Gaines, Gas. [N. Y.] 324; Valin, torn. 2 tit. Ass. a. 46) ; or by jettison (2 Phil. Ins. §§ 1616, 1617; 1 Gaines [N. Y.] 196) ; or by necessity to sell on account of the action and effect of the peril insured against (2 Phil. Ins. 8 1628; 5 Gray [Mass.] 154; 1 Cranch [U. S.] 202) : or by loss of insured freight consequent on the loss of cargo or ship (2 Phil. Ins. §§ 1642, 1645; 18 Johns. [N. Y,] 208) . There may be a claim for a total loss in addition to a partial loss. 2 PhiL Ins. § 1748; 17 How. (U. S.) B9B. A total loss of the ship is not necessarily such of cargo (2 Phil. Ins. §§ 1601 et seq., 1622; 3 Bin. [Pa.] 287) ; nor is submersion necessarily a total loss (2 Phil. Ins. § 1607; 7 East, 38) ; nor is temporary delay of the voyage (2 Phil. Ins. §§ 1618, 1619; 5 Barn. & Aid. 597). A constructive total loss, and an abandonment thereupon of the ship, is a constructive total loss of freight; and a constructive total loss and abandonment of cargo has a like effect as to commissions or profits thereon; and the validity of the abandonment will depend upon the actual facts at the time of the abandonment, as the same may subsequently prove to have been. 2 Phil. Ins. % 1630 et seq.; 3 Johns. Gas. (N. Y.) 93.

Related Entries of Total Loss in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

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Total Loss in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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Constructive Total Loss, F.a.a..


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Total Loss in Maritime Law

Note: There is more information on maritime/admiralty law here.

The following is a definition of Total Loss, produced by Tetley, in the context of admiralty law: [Translation of Total Loss in French: “perte totale”] [Translation of Total Loss in Spanish: “pérdida total”] [Translation of Total Loss in Italian: “perdita totale”] [Translation of Total Loss in German: “Totalschaden”] – “an actual total loss of the vessel or such damage to the vessel that the cost of saving and repairing her would exceed her market value at the time of the collision.” (Lisbon Rules 1987, (see this legal term in this law dictionary)).

Total Loss in Admiralty Law

For information on total loss in this context, see the entry on total loss in the maritime law encyclopedia.






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