Title VII: The maritime insurance and insurance contract
river and lake
Chapter I: General provisions.
This title governs any insurance contract the purpose of which is to cover the risks
relating to a maritime operation.
The river and lake navigation insurance contract is governed by the provisions of
this title, with the exception of Articles L. 172-5, L. 172-11, L. 172-17, L. 172-26, L. 173-7,
- 173-13 (4 °) and L. 173-21 (2 °).
The provisions of Articles L. 171-3 cannot be excluded by the parties to the contract,
- 172-2, L. 172-3, L. 172-6, L. 172-8, L. 172-9 (1st paragraph), L. 172-13 (2nd paragraph), L.
172-17, L. 172-20, L. 172-21, L. 172-22, L. 172-28 and L. 172-31.
Any legitimate interest, including the expected profit, can be insured.
No one can claim the benefit of insurance if he has not suffered damage.
Insurance can be taken out either on behalf of the policyholder or
on behalf of another specified person, or on behalf of whom he
The declaration that the insurance is taken out on whose behalf it will belong is valid
both as insurance for the benefit of the policyholder and as a stipulation for
others for the benefit of the beneficiary of the said clause.
This title does not apply to insurance contracts whose purpose is to guarantee
risks relating to pleasure boating.
These contracts are subject to the provisions of Titles I, II and III of this book. However,
the provisions of article L. 124-3 do not preclude the application of the rules
concerning the allocation of the insurance indemnity to the constitution of the limitation fund
as provided for in Articles L. 173-23 and L. 173-24.
Chapter II: Rules common to the various insurances
Section I: Conclusion of the contract.
Insurance has no effect when the risks have not started in both
month of the engagement of the parties or of the date which has been fixed for assumption of responsibility.
This provision is only applicable to subscription policies for the first feed.
Any omission or any inaccurate declaration by the insured likely to reduce
significantly the insurer’s opinion on the risk, whether or not it has influenced the damage
or on the loss of the insured object, cancels the insurance at the request of the insurer.
However, if the insured provides proof of his good faith, the insurer is, unless otherwise stipulated
more favorable with regard to the insured, guarantor of the risk in proportion to the premium
perceived in relation to that which he should have perceived, except in cases where he establishes that he would not have
not covered the risks if he had known them.
The premium remains with the insurer in the event of fraud by the insured.
Any modification during the contract, either of what was agreed upon during its formation,
either of the insured object, which results in a significant aggravation of the risk, leads to the
termination of the insurance if it has not been declared to the insurer within three days when
the insured is aware of it, excluding public holidays, unless the latter provides the
proof of good faith, in which case the provisions of the second
paragraph of Article L. 172-2.
If this aggravation is not the fault of the insured, the insurance continues, subject to
increase in the premium corresponding to the aggravation that has occurred.
If the aggravation is the fault of the insured, the insurer can either terminate the contract within three
days from the moment he became aware of it, the premium having been acquired, or demand
a premium increase corresponding to the aggravation that has occurred.
Any insurance made after the accident or the arrival of the insured objects or the vessel
carrier is void, if the news was known, before the conclusion of the contract, instead
where it was signed or where the insured or insurer was located.
Insurance on good or bad news is void if it is established that before the
conclusion of the contract the insured was personally aware of the loss or
the insurer of the arrival of the insured objects.
If the insurer establishes that there has been fraud on the part of the insured or his representative,
insurance taken out for a sum greater than the actual value of the insured item
is zero, and the premium remains acquired.
The same applies if the insured value is an agreed value.
In the absence of fraud, the contract is valid up to the real value of the things
insured and, if approved, for the entire sum insured.
Cumulative insurance for a total sum greater than the value of the item
insured are void if they were contracted with intent to fraud.
Cumulative insurance taken out without fraud for a total sum exceeding the
value of the insured thing are only valid if the insured brings them to the attention of
the insurer to whom he is requesting payment.
Each of them produces its effects in proportion to the sum to which it applies,
up to the full value of the insured item.
When the sum insured is less than the real value of the insured objects, except in the case of
of approved value, the insured remains his own insurer for the difference.
Section II: Obligations of the insurer and the insured.
The insurer is liable for material damage caused to objects insured by any fortune
by sea or by an event of force majeure.
The insurer also responds:
1 ° The contribution of the insured objects to general average, except if this comes from a
risk excluded by insurance;
2 ° Costs incurred as a result of a covered risk in order to preserve the insured object of a
material damage or to limit the damage.
The “Damage allowance” clause frees the insurer from all damage, either common or
particular, except in cases which give rise to abandonment; in such cases,
the insured has the option between abandonment and damage action.
The insured risks remain covered, even in the event of fault by the insured or his
land attendants, unless the insurer establishes that the damage is due to
lack of reasonable care on the part of the insured to protect the objects from
The insurer is not liable for intentional or inexcusable faults on the part of the insured.
The risks remain covered under the same conditions in the event of fault by the captain
or the crew, except as stated in article L. 173-5.
The insured risks remain covered even in the event of a forced change of route,
journey or ship, or in case of change decided by the captain outside of
the shipowner and the insured.
The insurer does not cover the risks:
- a) civil or foreign war, mines and all machinery of war;
- b) piracy;
(c) capture, taking or detention by any government or authority whatsoever;
- d) riots, popular movements, strikes and lockouts, acts of sabotage
- e) damage caused by the insured object to other goods or persons, except for what is
stated in Article L. 173-8;
- f) claims due to the direct or indirect effects of explosion, heat release,
radiation from transmutations of atomic nuclei or radioactivity, as well
that claims due to the effects of radiation caused by the artificial acceleration of
When it is not possible to establish whether the accident is caused by a risk of war or a
sea risk, it is deemed to be the result of a sea event.
The insurer does not guarantee:
- a) damage and material loss resulting from the inherent defect of the insured object, except
which is stated in article L. 173-4 regarding the hidden defect of the vessel;
- b) damage and material loss resulting from fines, confiscations,
sequestration, requisitions, sanitary or disinfection measures or following
blockade violations, acts of smuggling, prohibited or clandestine trade;
- c) damages or other indemnities for any foreclosures or sureties
data to release the seized objects;
- d) damage which does not constitute material damage and loss reaching
directly the insured object, such as unemployment, delay, course difference, obstacle brought
to the business of the insured.
The insured must:
1 ° Pay the premium and the costs, at the place and at the times agreed;
2 ° Take reasonable care of everything relating to the ship or the merchandise;
3 ° State exactly, when concluding the contract, all known circumstances
of him which are of such a nature as to make the insurer appreciate the risk which he assumes;
4 ° Declare to the insurer, insofar as he is aware of them, the increased risks
that occurred during the contract.
Failure to pay a premium allows the insurer to either suspend the insurance or
request its termination.
The suspension or termination does not take effect until eight days after it has been sent to the insured, to his
last known address of the insurer, and by registered letter, a formal notice
to have to pay.
The suspension and termination of insurance for failure to pay a premium are
without effect with regard to bona fide third parties, beneficiaries of the insurance by virtue of a
transfer prior to notification of suspension or termination.
In the event of a claim, the insurer may, by an express clause appearing in the rider
documentary, oppose to these beneficiaries, in due competition, the compensation of the
premium relating to the insurance of which they claim the benefit.
In the event of reorganization or judicial liquidation of the insured, the insurer may, if the
in default was not followed by payment, terminate the current policy, but the termination
has no effect with regard to the bona fide third party, beneficiary of the insurance, by virtue of a
transfer prior to any loss and notification of termination.
In the event of withdrawal of authorization, reorganization or judicial liquidation of the insurer,
the insured has the same rights.
The insured must contribute to the rescue of the insured objects and take all measures
conservatories of its rights against responsible third parties.
He is liable towards the insurer for the damage caused by the non-performance of this
obligation resulting from his fault or negligence.
Section III: Payment of compensation.
Damages and losses are settled in damage, except for the option for the insured to opt for the
abandonment in the cases determined by law or by agreement.
The insurer cannot be forced to repair or replace the insured items.
The contribution to general average, whether temporary or definitive, as well as the costs
assistance and rescue are reimbursed by the insurer, in proportion to the
value insured by him, reduced, if need be, for any particular damage to his charge.
The abandonment can be neither partial nor conditional.
It transfers the rights of the insured over the insured objects to the insurer, at the expense of
pay the entire sum insured and the effects of this transfer go back between
parties when the insured notifies the insurer of his wish to abandon.
The insurer may, without prejudice to the payment of the sum insured, refuse the transfer of
The insured who has made an inaccurate declaration relating to the loss in bad faith is forfeited
of the benefit of insurance.
The insurer who has paid the insurance indemnity acquires, up to the amount of its payment,
all the rights of the insured arising from the damage which gave rise to the guarantee.
If the same risk has been covered by several insurers, each is not liable, without
solidarity with others, only in the proportion of the sum insured by him, which
constitutes the limit of its engagement.
Actions arising from the insurance contract are prescribed by two years. The prescription runs
against minors and others incapable.
Chapter III: Rules specific to various insurances
Section I: Body insurance.
Ship insurance is taken out, either for one trip or for several trips
consecutive, or for a fixed period.
In travel insurance, the guarantee runs from the start of loading until the end
of unloading and at the latest fifteen days after the arrival of the vessel at destination.
In the event of a ballast voyage, the guarantee runs from the moment the vessel starts.
until the ship is moored on arrival.
In time insurance, the risks of the first and last day are covered by
Days run from zero to 24 hours, depending on the time of the country where the police have been
The insurer does not cover damage and loss resulting from an inherent defect in the vessel,
unless it is a hidden defect.
The insurer does not cover damages and losses caused by the intentional fault of the
When the insured value of the vessel is an agreed value, the parties agree not to
reciprocally any other estimate, subject to the provisions of Articles L. 172-6
and L. 172-26.
Insurance on good arrival can only be taken out, on pain of nullity, with the agreement
the ship’s insurers.
When an amount is insured for this reason, the justification of the insurable interest results from
acceptance of the sum thus guaranteed.
The insurer is only liable in cases of total loss or abandonment of the vessel at the
following a risk covered by the policy; he has no right to the abandoned property.
With the exception of personal injury, the insurer guarantees the reimbursement of
damages of any kind for which the insured would be liable on the recourse of third parties in the event of
collision by the insured vessel or collision of this vessel against a vessel, fixed body,
mobile or floating.
In travel insurance or for several consecutive trips, the entire premium is
acquired by the insurer, as soon as the risks start to run.
In time insurance, the stipulated premium for the entire duration of the guarantee is acquired
in the event of total loss or neglect at the expense of the insurer. If the total loss or
case of neglect is not his responsibility, the premium is acquired over time
accrued until total loss or notification of abandonment.
In the settlement of damages, the insurer only reimburses the cost of replacements and
repairs recognized as necessary to restore the vessel to a good seaworthy condition,
the exclusion of any other indemnity for depreciation or unemployment or any other cause
whether it be.
Regardless of the number of events that have occurred during the term of the policy, the insured is
guaranteed for each event up to the amount of the insured capital, except the right for
the insurer to request an additional premium after each event.
The abandonment of the vessel can be carried out in the following cases:
1 ° Total loss;
2 ° Repair to reach three quarters of the agreed value;
3 ° Impossibility of repairing;
4 ° No news for more than three months; the loss is deemed to have occurred at the
date of the latest news.
In the event of the alienation or bareboat charter of the vessel, the full insurance continues
right in favor of the new owner or the charterer, on condition that he informs
the insurer within the ten day period and to perform all the obligations of which the insured was
owed to the insurer under the contract.
The insurer will however be free to terminate the contract within one month of the day on which he
received notification of disposition or charter. This termination will only take effect
fifteen days after its notification.
The alienator or the lessor remains liable for the payment of the premiums due before
alienation or charter.
The alienation of the majority of the shares of a vessel in co-ownership alone entails the application
of article L. 173-14.
The provisions of this section are also applicable to contracts
insurance concerning the vessel which is only insured for the duration of its stay in
ports, roadsteads or other places, whether afloat or in dry dock.
They are applicable to ships under construction.
Section II: Insurance on faculties.
The goods are insured, either by a policy having effect only for one trip,
or by a so-called floating font.
The goods are insured without interruption, wherever they are
found, within the limits of the trip defined by the police.
When part of the journey is made by land, river or air, the
Marine insurance rules are applicable to the entire trip.
The abandonment of the faculties can be carried out in cases where the goods are:
1 ° totally lost;
2 ° Lost or damaged up to three quarters of their value;
3 ° Sold en route due to material damage to items insured by
following a covered risk.
It can also take place in the following cases:
1 ° The unseaworthiness of the ship and if the delivery of the goods, by any means
transport whatsoever, could not start within three months;
2 ° For lack of news from the vessel for more than three months.
In the event that the insured who has taken out a floating policy has not complied with the
obligations provided for by decree, the contract may be terminated without delay at the request of
the insurer, who is also entitled to premiums corresponding to unreported shipments.
If the insured is in bad faith, the insurer can exercise the right of recovery on the
payments made for claims relating to shipments subsequent to the
first intentional omission by the insured.
Section III: Liability insurance.
Liability insurance only entitles the insured to reimbursement if the third party
injured party has been compensated and to that extent, except in the event of the compensation being affected
insurance to the constitution of the limitation fund, under the terms of article 62 of the law
n ° 67-5 of January 3, 1967 relating to the statute of ships and other seagoing vessels.
In the event of the constitution of a limitation fund, the creditors whose rights are subject to
limitation, under the terms of articles 58 to 60 of law n ° 67-5 of 3 January 1967 relating to
status of ships and other seagoing vessels, have no action against the insurer.
Liability insurance, the purpose of which is to repair damage caused to
third party by the ship and which are guaranteed under the terms of Article L. 173-8, does not produce
effect only in the event of insufficient sum insured by the body policy.
Regardless of the number of events that have occurred during the term of the insurance
liability, the sum subscribed by each insurer constitutes, per event, the
limit of its engagement.
Chapter IV: Rules specific to the various insurance policies
river and lake navigation
Section I: Body insurance.
Hull insurance covers loss and material damage to the boat and
its dependencies insured and resulting from any navigation accidents or events
force majeure except formal and limited exclusions provided for in the insurance contract.
The insurer does not guarantee loss and damage when the boat undertakes the
travel in a condition rendering it unfit for navigation or insufficiently armed, or
Likewise, it does not guarantee loss and damage resulting from normal wear and tear of the
boat or its dilapidation.
The insurer is liable for the contribution of the insured property to general average. Likewise,
when the goods on board all belong to the insured, the insurer guarantees the
losses which would have constituted general average if the goods had belonged to
to a third party.
Section II: Insurance on faculties.
The insurance on faculties guarantees the loss and material damage caused to
goods by any navigation accidents or force majeure events except
formal and limited exclusions provided for in the insurance contract.
The insurer is not responsible for the damage or loss that the sender or the recipient,
as such, caused by willful or inexcusable fault.
He is not liable for damage resulting from the inherent defect of the goods, resulting from
its internal deterioration, its withering, its casting, as well as the absence or
packaging defect, road shrinkage or due to rodents. However, the insurer
guarantees the damage resulting from the delay when the journey is abnormally delayed by
an event for which he responds.
Section III: Liability insurance.
The insurer cannot pay all or part of the amount due to anyone other than the injured third party, as long as
that this third party has not been disinterested up to the amount of the said sum of
pecuniary consequences of the damaging event resulting in the liability of