Insurance against death is very different in its nature from insurance against marine perils or against fire. Many of the questions which arise under either or both forms of these insurances are not presented by life policies. But those which arise under this contract are determined by principles, which, if not the same with, are analogous to, those applied to marine and fire contracts.
In this, as in all cases of insurance, one party insures and another party is insured. But while marine and fire policies insure against loss of property, life policies insure only against a loss of life, caused by the death of some person. He whose life is thus insured, is often called the life-insured. He may be the same with the insured, and then the policy is payable, of course, only to the legal representatives of the insured; or the insured may insure himself against the death of some other person; and then the insured and the life-insured are two persons.
The contract is made by a policy similar in many respects to other policies; and to it as to them the general rules of law as to such contracts apply.