Perils of the Seas and Inherent Vice in Marine Insurance Law
The term ‘inherent vice’ is one of the most confounding issues in marine insurance law. Likewise, when it comes to establishing a proximate cause, the relationship between insured risks and excluded risks is also complex. ‘Inherent vice’ is an excluded risk both in the Marine Insurance Act (MIA) 1906 S. 55(2) and in the Institute Cargo Clauses. Due to the fact that there is no definition of ‘inherent vice’ in the MIA 1906 or the Institute Cargo Clauses, it has been discussed in various cases throughout the centuries whether the term refers only to an internal characteristic of the goods or the deterioration of the goods that are interacting with external events. The ‘inherent vice’ discussed in older cases mainly concerned the natural decay of the goods.1 It is worth analysing the development of the meaning of ‘inherent vice’ over the years.