An agent who causes an insurance to be made must have full power to do so. This power may be given him expressly, or may be derived from the circumstances of the case, or from usage; (q)1 but a mere general authority, though it be to act in relation to the ship or cargo, is not sufficient. (r)
* If a policy be made by one who purports to make it as agent, his principal, although unknown at the time, is bound when afterwards discovered. If the agent has no previous authority, the party in interest may make it his contract by subsequent ratification; and he may make this ratification even after a loss has occurred under the policy; (s) 2 and the bringing of an
(j) Pawson v. Barnevelt, 1 Doug. 18, note.
(k) Bize v. Fletcher, 1 Doug. 13, note.
(l) Dennis v. Ludlow, 2 Caines, 111; Bean v. Stupart, I Doug. 11; De Hahn v. Hartley, 1 T. R. 343; Guerlain v. Col. Int. Co. 7 Johns. 527; Ewer v. Washington Int. Co. 16Pick. 602.
(m) Warwick v. Scott, 4 Camp. 62; Harris p. Eagle Ins. Co. 6 Johns. 368.
(n) Murdock v. Chenango Co. Ins. Co. 2 Comst. 210; Roberts v. Chenango Co. Ins. Co. 3 Hill, 501.
(o) Routledge v. Burrell, 1 H. Bl. 264; Worsley v. Wood, 6 T. B. 710; Clark v. Manuf. Ins. Co. 8 How. 286; Kennedy v. St Lawrence Co. Ins. Co. 10 Barb. 285; Brown v. People's Ins. Co. 11 Cush. 280. But see Williams v. New England Ins. Co. 31 Maine, 219.
(p) Higginson 9. Dall, 13 Mass. 96; Western v. Ernes, 1 Taunt. 116; New York Ins. Co. v. Thomas, 8 Johns. Cas. 1; Lee v. Howard Ins. Co. 8 Gray, 688; Lamatt v. Hudson River Ins. Co. 17 N. Y. 199, note.
(q) Barlow v. Leckie, 4 J. B. Moore, 8.
(r) French v. Backhouse, 6 Burr. 2727; Foster v. U. S. Ins. Co. 11 Pick. 86; Finney v. Warren Ins. Co. 1 Met 16.
(s) Lucena v. Craufurd, 1 Taunt 826;
1 See Putnam v. Home Ins. Co. 123 Mass. 324; Wass v. Maine Ins. Co. 61 Me. 537; Lycoming Ins. Co. v. Woodworth, 83 Penn. St 223; Dayton Ins. Co. v. Kelly, 24 Ohio St. 345.
2 Williams v. No. China Ins. Co. 1 C. P. D. 757.
action on the policy by such principal, in his own name, has been said to be sufficient ratification. (t) If, however, the agent brings the action in his own name, and no ratification is proved, he recovers only to the extent of his own interest. (u)
If the goods are insured by a bailee having a lien on them for charges, commissions, etc., and are described as goods held by him in trust, in an action brought by him in his own name he recovers the whole value of the goods, and after deducting his lien, he holds the balance in trust for the owner. (v) But, as between the insured and the owner of the goods held by him in trust, the latter cannot recover unless it appears that he had elected to adopt the policy, before its force as an insurance upon his goods has been in any degree impaired by any act of the insured, or that the latter has actually received money from the insurance company, on account of goods other than his own. (w) 1 If an agent effects insurance "for account of whom it may concern," he then recovers the whole amount insured in an action brought in his own name, (x) unless his authority be disavowed by the party in interest; who can, however, disavow it, only to the extent of his own interest, and not for the lien or other interest of the agent. (y)
Alterations may be made by both parties, or by either party, with the consent of the other. Such alterations should be and usually are indorsed upon the policy. (z) If the insured makes, * or procures, or consents to the making of a material alteration, this has the effect of cancelling the policy, (a) even though he make it in good faith; unless the insurers
Routh v. Thompson, 13 East, 274; Hagedorn v. Oliverson, 2 M. & S. 486; Steinback v. Rhinelander, 8 Johns. Cas. 281; Loring v. Proctor, 26 Maine, 80.
(t) Finney v. Fairhaven Ins. Co. 5 Met. 192; Oliver v. Commercial Ins. Co. 2 Curtis, C. C. 296; Blanchard v. Waite, 28 Maine, 51.
(u) Foster v. U. S. Ins. Co. 11 Pick. 86.
(v) Waters v. Monarch Ins. Co. 6 Ellis & B. 870, 84 Eng. L. & Eq. 116; De Forest v. Fulton Ins. Co. 1 Hall, 100.
(w) Stiltwell v. Staples, 19 N. Y. 401.
(x) Davis v. Boardman. 12 Mass. 80; Ward v. Wood, 13 Mass. 689; Copeland v. Mercantile Ins. Co. 6 Pick. 198.
(y) Reed v. Pacific Ins. Co. 1 Met.
166; Copeland v. Mercantile Ins. Co. 6 Pick. 198; Cranston v. Philadelphia Ins. Co. 5 Binn. 638.
(z) Laird v. Robertson, 4 Brown, P. C. 488; Robinson v. Tobin, 1 Stark. 336; Merry v. Prince, 2 Mass. 176. An alteration inserted in the policy by consent of both parties, although not signed, is binding. Warren v. Ocean Ins. Co. 16 Maine, 489. A policy may be altered by parol. Kennebec Co. v. Augusta Ins. Co. 6 Gray, 204. (a) Langhorn v. Cologan, 4 Taunt 330; Farlie v. Christie, 7 id. 416; Forshaw v. Chabert, 3 Brod. & B. 168. See Entwisle v. Ellis, 2 H. & N. 649. The alteration must be material; Sanderson v. M'Cullom, 4 J. B. Moore, 6; Sanderassent to it. An alteration by the insurers, without the consent of the insured, has no effect whatever. (b)
1 See Martineau v. Hitching, L. R.7Q.E 436, 462, where Quain, J., cites the text with approval.
If there be a material error in a policy, a court of law cannot correct the mistake. (c) But a court of equity may and will correct it, or treat the policy as reformed. (d)