indemnity principle

  

Definition

One of the basic tenets of insurance, that the insured should not profit from a loss or damage but should be returned (as near as possible) to the same financial position that existed before the loss or damage occurred. In other words, the insured cannot recover more than his or her actual loss from the insurer. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule, such as personal accident and life insurance policies where the policy amount is paid on occurrence of accident or death and the question of profit does not arise. Some marine insurance policies also constitute an exception because the settlement of a total loss is based on a sum agreed upon at the time the insurance policy was written.

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