Assignment or Transfer of Interest in Insurance

It is necessary to distinguish between assignment of

(a) the subject-matter of insurance,
(b) the policy, and
(c) the policy money when payable.

Marine and life policies can be freely assigned but assignment under fire and accident policies, are not valid, without prior consent of the insurers – except changes of interest by will or operation of law.

Moreover, assignments under fire and accident policies must be made before the insured parts with this, interest. Once he has lost the interest, the policy is void and cannot be assigned.

The life policies can , be assigned whether the assignee has an insurable interest or not. Life policies are frequently charged, assigned or otherwise dealt with, for they are valuable securities.

A marine policy is freely assignable unless it contains terms expressly prohibiting assignment. It is assigned either before or after loss.

A marine policy may be assigned by endorsement thereon or in other customary manner. In practice, a marine cargo policy is frequently endorsed in blank and becomes in effect a quasi-negotiable instrument.

Thus, it will be appreciated, adds considerably to the convenience of mercantile transactions as the policy can be negotiated through a bank along with the other documents of title.

Assignment in fire insurance cannot be recognized without prior consent of the insurer, change of interest in fire policies (unless by will or operation of law) are not valid unless and until the consent of the insurer has been given.

The fire policies are not in the nature of assignment not intended to be assigned from one person to another without the consent of the insurer. Assignment in fire insurance constitutes a new contract.