A complete loss occurs where property is completely destroyed. Frequently used for insurance purposes, such as in auto insurance, where a total loss is also called a “write-off” which represents a judgment call made by an insurance company or insurer that the loss of value or cost of repair of the vehicle (or property) exceeds the policy value. As a result, repair is not a feasible solution. An “actual total loss” occurs when the insured property is completely destroyed and cannot be repaired. It represents the maximum settlement amount with regard to an insurance policy. Regarding a constructive total loss, it is where the cost of repair exceeds the current value of the property although the item may still bear some salvage value.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
In marine insurance, a total loss is the entire destruction or loss, to the insured, of the subject matter of the policy, by the risks insured against As to the distinction between “actual” and “constructive” total loss, see infra. In fire insurance, a total loss is the complete destruction of the insured property by fire, so that nothing of value remains from it; as distinguished from a partial loss, where the property is damaged, but not entirely destroyed. Actual total loss. In marine insurance. The total loss of the vessel covered by a policy of insurance, by its real and substantive destruction, by injuries which leave it no longer existing in specie, by its being reduced to a wreck irretrievably beyond repair, or by its being placed beyond the control of the insured and beyond his power of recovery. Distinguished from a constructive total loss, which occurs where the vessel, though injured by the perils insured against, remains in specie and capable of repair or recovery, but at such an expense, or under such other conditions, that the insured may claim the whole amount of the policy up on abandoning the vessel to the underwriters. “An actual total loss is where the vessel ceases to exist in specie,becomes a ‘mere congeries of planks,’ incapable of being repaired; or where, by the peril insured against, it is placed beyond the control of the insured and beyond his power of recovery. A constructive total loss is where the vessel remains in specie, and is susceptible of repairs or recovery, but at an expense, according to the rule of the English common law, exceeding its value when restored, or, according to the terms of this policy, where ‘the injury is equivalent to fifty per cent, of the agreed value in the policy,’ and where the insured abandons the vessel to the underwriter. In such cases the insured is entitled to indemnity as for a total loss. An exception to the rule requiring abandonment is found in cases where the loss occurs in foreign ports or seas, where it is impracticable to repair. In such cases the master may sell the vessel for the benefit of all concerned, and the insured may claim as for a total loss by accounting to the insurer for the amount realized on the sale. There are other exceptions to the rule, but it is sufficient now to say that we have found no case in which the doctrine of constructive total loss without abandonment has been admitted, where the injured vessel remained in specie and was brought to its home port by the insured. A well marked distinction between an actual and a constructive total loss is there’fore found in this: that in the former no abandonment is necessary, while in the latter it is essential, unless the case be brought within some exception to the rule requiring it. A partial loss is where an injury results to the vessel from a peril insured against, but where the loss is neither actually nor constructively total.” Constructive total loss. In marine insurance. This occurs where the loss or injury to the vessel insured does not amount to its total disappearance or destruction, but where, although the vessel still remains, the cost of repairing or recovering it would amount to more than its value when so repaired, and consequently the insured abandons it to the. underwriters.