If a policy provide that not only a change of the owners, but a change of masters if not notified to the insurers, shall avoid the policy, the insured cannot recover for a loss occurring while the ship is under the charge of a new master, of whose appointment the insurers had not been notified. (t)
Usage has great weight in the construction of policies and their language; but to have this effect it must be reasonable in itself, (u) conformable to law, (v) and not in contradiction of * the plain and positive language of the policy. (w) Where the usage of the place in which a letter proposing insurance is written, differs from that of the place to which the letter is sent, and in which the insurance is effected, the first usage prevails. (x) It may be added as a general remark, that while it seems to have been thought, at some times and by some courts, that a policy should be construed favorably for the insured, and at other times and by other courts, favorably for the insurers, we hold it to be both the just rule and the expedient rule, that it should be construed accurately, and without favor to either party; and this rule seems now to prevail in the courts. (y)
A policy takes effect from its date. But "date," which is only
(ss) Held, that the sale or transfer does not avoid the policy unless made to third parties, in Hoffman v. AEtna Ins. Co. 32 N. Y. 405. Held, otherwise, in Hartford Ins. Co. v. Ross, 23 Ind. 179; and in Keeler v. Niagara Ins. Co. 16 Wis. 523.
(t) Tennessee Ins. Co. v. Scott, 14 Misso. 46.
(u) Macy v. Whaling Ins. Co. 0 Met. 363; Ougier v. Jennings, cited 1 Camp. 505; Barney v. Coffin, 3 Pick. 115.
(v) A usage to sell a cargo without necessity is invalid: Bryant v. Commonwealth Ins. Co. 6 Pick. 131; or for the owner to purchase it when sold by the master through necessity: Robertson v. Western Ins. Co. 10 La. 227. See also Hone v. Mutual Safety Ins. Co. 1 Sandf. 137, 2 Comst. 235; Turner v. Burrows, 5
Wend. 641, 8 id. 144; Wise v. St Louis Mar. Ins. Co. 23 Misso. 80.
(w) M'Gregor v. Ins. Co. 1 Wash. C. C. 39; Hone v. Mutual Safety Ins. Co. 1 Sandf. 137, 2 Comst. 235; Blackett v. Royal Exch. Ass. Co. 2 Cromp. & J. 244; Mercantile Ins. Co. v. State Ins. Co. 25 Barb. 319; Rankin v. Am. Ins. Co. 1 Hall, 619; Bentaloe v. Pratt, Wallace, 58; Bargett v. Orient Ins. Co. 3 Bosw. 385.
(x) Hazard v. New England Ins. Co. 8 Pet. 557, overruling the decision of Mr. Justice Story in the same case, 1 Sumner, 218.
(y) Hood v. Manhattan Ins. Co. 1 Kern. 582; Robertson v. French, 4 East, 135; Aguilar v. Rodgers, 7 T. R. 421; Mumford v. Hallett, 1 Johns. 438; Graves v. Boston Ins. Co. 2 Cranch, 419; Honnick v. Phoenix Ins. Co. 22 Misso. 82.
1 That it does not, see Pierce v. Nashua Ins. Co. 50 N. H. 297.