general average

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A term in marine insurance for the adjustment of a loss when cargo on board a ship belonging to one or more owners has been sacrificed for the safety of the whole, whereby the amount of the loss is shared by all who have shipped cargo in the vessel. A case for general average would occur, for example, if the deck cargo of a ship had to be jettisoned to safeguard the ship in rough weather. There are strict rules which bind a claim for general average; the loss must have been voluntary and not accidental, must not have been caused by any fault on the part of the owner claiming general average, must have been necessary and successful in saving the remainder of the cargo, and must have been made by order of the ship's master. See also flotsam; jetsam.

Subjects: Maritime History — Law.

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