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3 S. Afr. Mercantile L.J. 234 (1991)
Dalby v the India & (and) London Life-Assurance Company Revisited: Authority for What

handle is hein.journals/safrmerlj3 and id is 242 raw text is: Analyses/Analises

Dalby v The India & London Life-Assurance
Company Revisited: Authority for What?
PETER HAVENGA
University of South Africa
1 Introduction
One hundred and thirty seven years ago Dalby v The India &
London Life-Assurance Company (1854) 15 CB 365, 139 ER 465 was
decided by the Exchequer Chamber in England. The case was a
landmark decision and has influenced the development of life
insurance law in every legal system that has its roots in English law.
The case is generally cited as authority for the following propositions:
(i) The ordinary form of life insurance is an example of a
non-indemnity insurance contract (Gordon & Getz on the South
African Law of Insurance 3 ed (1983) by WS Getz and DM Davis in
collaboration with Gerald Gordon (hereafter 'Gordon & Getz') 80
102; ER Hardy Ivamy General Principles of Insurance Law5 ed (1986)
(hereafter 'Ivamy General Principles') 9n3; MacGillivray & Parking-
ton on Insurance Law 8 ed (1988) by Michael Parkington, Nicholas
Legh-Jones, Andrew    Longmore and John     Birds (hereafter
'MacGillivray & Parkington') par 10n23; William R Vance Handbook
on the Law of Insurance 3 ed (1951) by Buist M Anderson 106).
(ii) In life insurance it is necessary that an (insurable) interest must
exist only at the time when the policy is concluded (Gordon & Getz
supra 101; Raoul Colinvaux The Law of Insurance 5 ed (1984) 339n52;
Ivamy General Principles supra 28n16; MacGillivray & Parkington
supra pars 24n76 27 32n98 36n6 66n91; Vance supra 185).
(iii) The amount that can be recovered under a life policy is limited
to the amount or value of the interest existing at the time of conclusion
of the contract without any reference to the amount of the interest at
the date of loss (Ivamy General Principles supra 9n2; ER Hardy Ivamy
Personal Accident, Life and Other Insurances 2 ed (1980) (hereafter
'Ivamy Life') 97n3; MacGillivray & Parkington supra pars 24n76 29).
(iv) A creditor has an insurable interest in the life of his debtor
(Colinvaux supra 48n72; Ivamy General Principles supra 28n16;

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