As per the marine insurance policies, the new Jason clause is included in most of the bill of ladings. To understand the meaning of the new Jason clause, it is important to understand how marine insurance works. A marine insurance policy is an agreement whereby the insurance company or the insurer undertakes to cover the insured, against transit losses. A typical marine insurance policy covers against the losses caused to:
- Cargo present on the vessel
- Hull or the vessel itself
Cargo insurance covers the damage caused to the goods and shipments which are loaded on the ship. The damage is covered when it happens during the transit. A hull insurance covers the damage caused to specifically the ship or the vessel during the transit.
There are various perils of sea which can be a cause of loss when the voyage takes place. These perils can cause damage to ship as well as the cargo present on the ship. Some damages take place on account of unavoidable disasters and some take place due to negligence.
The new Jason clause simply states that the Cargo owner has to contribute in the general average even when the damaging incident is caused by the negligence of the ship/carrier owner. In such case the new Jason clause should be present in the bill of landing.
A general average means the loss or damage to the ship or the cargo which is shared by the ship owner and the cargo owner.
Thus, the new Jason clause protects the ship owners by having general average in case of damage caused by the negligence by the shipowner or the crew.
Before the adoption of Harter Act in 1893, the shipowners were not allowed to get any benefit from the cargo owners in case of losses sustained by shipowner’s negligence. To establish a way in which the negligent shipowner could recover in general average, the shipowners inserted a clause in their bill of landing which stated that whenever the ship was released from the claims under the Harter Act and had undergone a process of due-diligence, recovery can be permitted. Later the carrier immunities were revised in Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of 1936 and the new Jason clause was included.
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Important takeaways from the new Jason clause are:
- The new Jason clause applies in event of an accident, danger, damage or disaster
- The accident can take place before or after commencement of the voyage
- The owners of the goods shall contribute with the ship owners in general average
- Contribution can be for payment of any sacrifices, losses or expenses of a general average nature
- The contributions made will also pay for the salvage and special charges incurred in respect of the goods.
A manufacturing company wanted to send a consignment of raw materials to a company located in Singapore. It took help of a shipping company to send the consignment via voyage. All the raw materials were properly packaged to ensure their safety. The shipowners also carried out due diligence of the ship before the journey commenced.
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During the voyage, due to the negligence of the crew member, a fire broke out causing damage to the ship. The ship owner had the new Jason clause included in the bill of landing. So, when the ship owners contacted their marine insurance policy holders, the surveyor was sent to oversee the situation. He found that the incident took place due to the negligence of the crew member during the journey. Also, the bill of landing included the new Jason clause. Hence the owners of the cargo (manufacturing company), also had to contribute in the general average for the losses that the ship faced.
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