Maritime law. The adjustment of a loss is the settlling and ascertaining the amount of the indemnity which the insured after all proper allowances and deductions have been made, is entitled to receive, and the proportion of this, which each underwriter is liable to pay, under the policy Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 14, p. 617 or it is a written admission of the amounts of the loss as settled between the parties to a policy of insurance. 3 Stark. Ev. 1167, 8.
2. In adjusting a loss, the first thing to be considered is, how the quantity of damages for which the underwriters are liable, shall be ascertained. When a loss is a total loss, and the iusured decides to abandon, he must give notice of this to the underwriters iii a reasonable time, otherwise he will waive his right to abandon, and must be content to claim only for a partial loss. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, .c. 3, s. 2; 15 East, 559; 1 T. R. 608; 9 East, 283; 13 East 304; 6 Taunt. 383. When the loss is admitted to be total, and the policy is a valued one, the insured is entitled to receive the whole sum insured, subject to such deductions as may have been agreed by the policy to be made in case of loss.
3. The quantity of damages being known, the next point to be settled, is, by what rule this shall be estimated. The price of a thing does not afford a just criterion to ascertain its true value
. It may have been bought very dear or very cheap. The circumstances of time and place cause a continual variation in the price of things. For this reason, in cases of general average
, the things saved contribute not according to prune cost, but according to the price for which they may be sold at the time of settling the average. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 14, s. 2, p. 621; Laws of Wishuy, art. 20 Laws of Oleron, art. 8 this Dict. tit. Price. And see 4 Dall. 430; 1 Caines' R. 80; 2 S. & R. 229 2 S.& R. 257, 258.
4. An adjustment being endorsed on the policy, and signed by the underwriters, with the promise to pay
in a given time, is prima facie evidence
against them, and amouuts to an admission of all the facts necessary to be proved by the insured to entitle him to recover in an action on the policy. It is like a note of hand, and being proved, the insured has no occasion to go into proof of any other circumstances. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 14, s. 3, p. 632; 3 Stark. Ev. 1167, 8 Park. ch. 4; Wesk. Ins, 8; Beaw. Lex. Mer. 310; Com. Dig. Merchant, E 9; Abbott on Shipp. 346 to 348. See Damages.