Re-Insurance and Double Insurance
Every insurer has a limit to the risk he can undertake. If a profitable proposal comes his way he may insure it even if the risk involved is beyond his capacity. Then, in order to safeguard his own interest, he may insure the same risk, either wholly or partially, with other insurers, thereby spreading the risk. This is called -re-insurance. Re-insurance can be resorted to in all kinds of insurance and a contract of re-insurance is also a contract of indemnity. The re-insurers are liable to pay the amount to the original insurer only if the latter has paid to the insured. Re-insurance is subject to all the conditions in the original policy and the re-insurer is entitled to all the benefits, which the original insurer enjoys under the policy.
When the insured insures the same risk with two or more independent insurers, and the total sum insured exceeds the value of the subject matter, the insured is, said to be over insured by double insurance. Both double insurance and over-insurance are perfectly lawful, unless the policy otherwise provides. A man may insure with as many insurers as he pleases and up to the full value of his interest with each one of them. If a loss occurs, he may claim payment from the insurers in such order as he thinks fit; but in no case he shall be entitled to recover more than his loss, because a contract of insurance is a contract of indemnity only.