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DOCTRINE1: Payment by insurer to insured under a marine insurance
November 15, 2001 | De Leon, Jr., J. | Measure of Indemnity
policy means the waiver of the insurer’s right to enforce the term of the
PETITIONER: ​Delsan Transport Lines, Inc. implied warranty against the insured but does not mean waiver of the
RESPONDENTS: The Hon. Court Of Appeals and American Home insurer’s right to subrogation. The presentation in evidence of the
Assurance Corporation insurance policy is not indispensable before the insurer may recover. The
SUMMARY: Caltex and Delsan entered into a contract of affreightment subrogation receipt, by itself, is sufficient to establish not only the
where Delsan would transport industrial fuel oil from the relationship of the insurer and the insured, but also the amount paid to
Batangas-Bataan Refinery to Caltex Oil Terminal in Zamboanga City. settle the insurance.
Said shipment was insured by Caltex with AHAC. While in transit,
Delsan’s ship (MT Maysun) sunk allegedly due to bad weather. AHAC
1. Caltex Philippines (Caltex) entered into a ​contract of
paid Caltex for the lost shipment. When AHAC went after Delsan for
affreightment with the ​petitioner Delsan Transport Lines, Inc.
reimbursement, the latter refused. Thus AHAC filed a complaint for
(common carrier), for a ​one year where Delsan would transport
complaint for sum of money. The TC dismissed the case holding that
Caltex’s industrial fuel oil ​from the ​Batangas-Bataan Refinery
Delsan was liable due to force majeure. On appeal, the CA reversed the
to different parts of the country.
decision stating that there was no force majeure. The issues were (1)
2. Under the contract, Delsan took on board its vessel (​MT Maysun​)
WON payment of AHAC to Caltex amounted to a and admission that MT
2,277.314 kiloliters of said oil to be transported to Caltex Oil
Maysun was seaworthy and thus precluding any action AHAC may have
Terminal in Zamboanga City. Said ​shipment was ​insured with
against Delsan ​(NO) and (2) WON the marine insurance policy in this
private respondent American Home Assurance Corporation
case was necessary ​(NO)​.
Payment by AHAC to Caltex was only a waiver of AHAC’s ​right to
3. (14 Aug 1986) MT Maysun set sail to Zamboanga City.
enforce the term of the implied warranty against Caltex under the
4. (16 Aug 1986) ​MT Maysun sank near Panay Gulf and Cuyo East
marine insurance policy but does ​not mean admission of the vessel’s
Pass in Visayas.
seaworthiness by AHAC as to foreclose recourse against Delsan for any
5. AHAC subsequently paid Caltex P5,096,635.57 (amount of
liability under its contractual obligation as a common carrier. The marine
insured cargo).
insurance policy is not necessary in this case and that the subrogation
6. AHAC later demanded Delsan the same amount as an exercise of
receipt was already sufficient having showed both (1) ​relationship of
​ rt. 2207, New Civil Code​.
its​ right of subrogation​ under A
AHAC and Caltex​, as insurer and assured, respectively and (2) ​amount
paid​ to settle the insurance claim. 1
Contracts of marine insurance are contracts of indemnity which means its purpose is
in case of loss, to place the insured in the same situation in which he was before the
loss subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. Amount of indemnity may be
determined after the loss or is previously fixed in the contract. The amount of
insurance fixed in the policy of a marine insurance is not the exact measure of
indemnity to which the insured is entitled but the maximum indemnity which he might
obtain. The insured cannot recover in excess of his actual loss.(The case makes no
mention of the topic this case was assigned – Measure of Indemnity. This doctrine is
from De Leon, and it’s the closest I can relate the case to. Apologies.)
7. Delsan refused to pay, thus AHAC filed a complaint for collection Code​, the implied warranty of seaworthiness of the
of sum of money with the RTC, Makati. vessel, which AHAC admitted as having been fulfilled by
8. Trial Court: Dismissed the complaint reasoning that MT Maysun its payment of the insurance proceeds to Caltex of its lost
was seaworthy as determined by the Philippine Coast Guard per cargo, extends to the vessel’s complement. Despite Berina
Survey Certificate Report No. M5-016-MH upon inspection having merely a 2nd officer’s license, he was qualified to
during its annual dry-docking and that the incident was caused by act as the vessel’s chief officer under Chapter IV(403),
unexpected inclement weather condition or ​force majeure​, thus Category III(a)(3)(ii)(aa) of the Philippine Merchant
exempting the common carrier (Delsan) from liability for the loss Marine Rules and Regulations. In fact, all the crew and
of its cargo. officers of MT Maysun were exonerated in the
9. CA: Reversed ​the TC Decision. CA gave credence to the ​weather administrative investigation conducted by the Board of
report ​issued by PAGASA which which showed that from 2-8 Marine Inquiry after the subject accident.
a.m. on 16 Aug 1986, the wind speed remained at 10-20 knots per c. The doctrine in ​Home Insurance Corporation v. CA (​ i.e.
hour while the waves measured from ​0.7-2 meters in height only failure of the private respondent to present the insurance
in contrast to herein Delsan’s allegation that the waves were 20 ft. policy in evidence is allegedly fatal to its claim inasmuch
high. as there is no way to determine the rights of the parties
10. Delsan filed an MR which was however denied and hence this thereto), should have been applied herein, since AHAC
petition. failed to present the subject marine cargo insurance policy
11. Delsan invokes/alleges: as evidence.
a. Sec. 113, Insurance Code states that in every marine ISSUE/s:
insurance upon a ship or freight, or freightage, or upon 1. WON the payment made by the AHAC to Caltex for the
any thing which is the ​subject of marine insurance ​there insured value of the lost cargo amounted to an admission that
is an implied warranty by the shipper that the ​ship is the vessel was seaworthy, thus precluding any action for
seaworthy. Consequently, the ​insurer will not be liable to recovery against the petitioner. – NO. Payment by AHAC to
the assured for any loss under the policy in case the vessel Caltex was only a ​waiver of AHAC’s right to enforce the term
would later on be found as not seaworthy at the inception of the implied warranty against Caltex ​under the marine
of the insurance​. The ​act of AHAC of paying Caltex the insurance policy but does not mean ​admission of the vessel’s
value of the lost cargo amounted to a ​tacit recognition seaworthiness ​by AHAC as to foreclose recourse against Delsan
that ​MT Maysun was seaworthy​, otherwise, AHAC was for any liability under its contractual obligation as a common
not legally liable to Caltex due to the latter’s breach of carrier.
implied warranty under the marine insurance policy that 2. WON the non-presentation of the marine insurance policy bars
the vessel was seaworthy. the complaint for recovery of sum of money for lack of cause of
b. CA erred in finding that MT Maysun was not seaworthy action. – NO. In this case, said insurance policy is not necessary.
on the ground that Francisco Berina, chief mate of the The subrogation receipt was already sufficient and it showed both
vessel, was not qualified. Under ​Sec. 116, Insurance
(1) relationship of AHAC and Caltex​, as insurer and assured, the vigilance over the goods and for the safety of passengers
respectively and (2)​ amount paid​ to settle the insurance claim. transported by them, according to all the circumstances of each
RULING: WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The Decision a. GR: ​In the event of loss, destruction or deterioration of
dated June 17, 1996 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 39836 is the insured goods, common carriers shall be responsible.
AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED. Exception: ​If the same is brought about, among others,
by flood, storm, earthquake, lightning or other natural
RATIO: disaster or calamity.
1. (First Issue) The ​payment made by the AHAC for the insured value b. GR: If the goods are lost, destroyed or deteriorated,
of the lost cargo operates as waiver of its (AHAC) right to enforce common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to
the term of the implied warranty against Caltex ​under the marine have acted negligently.
insurance policy. However, the ​same cannot be validly Exception: ​If the common carrier proves that they
interpreted as an automatic admission ​of the ​vessel's observed extraordinary diligence.
seaworthiness ​by the AHAC as to foreclose recourse against the 4. Jaime Jarabe, captain of MT Maysun, and Berina testified that at
Delsan for any liability under its contractual obligation as a around 3:15 a.m. a squall ("​unos​") carrying strong winds with an
common carrier. Said payment grants AHAC subrogatory right to approximate velocity of 30 knots per hour and big waves averaging
exercise legal remedies available to Caltex against Delsan, the 18-20 ft. high caused the vessel to sink. ​However, this tale was
common carrier by virtue of ​Art. 2207, Civil Code2 effectively rebutted PAGASA’s weather report​. (See Fact #9)
2. The ​right of subrogation has its ​roots in equity​. It is ​not Thus, Delsan’s defense of force majeure cannot be sustained. Also,
dependent upon​, nor does it grow out of, ​any privity of contract said witnesses as employees of Delsan, cannot be expected to
or upon written assignment of claim​. It ​accrues simply upon testify against the latter. (See Fact #11.2) Exoneration of MT
payment by the insurance company of the insurance claim. Maysun’s officers and crew to liability is only with respect to
Consequently, the payment made by the AHAC (insurer) to Caltex administrative liabilities and does not operate to absolve Delsan’s
(assured) operates as an ​equitable assignment ​to the former of all civil liabilities arising from its negligence as a common carrier.
the remedies which the latter may have against Delsan. (See Fact #11.2)
3. From the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, 5. Evidence certificates that MT Maysun was fit for voyage ​at the
common carriers are bound to observe ​extraordinary diligence in time of dry-docking and inspection by the Philippine Coast
Guard​, was also ​not ​credited by the court to prove the ​vessel’s
fitness for voyage at the time of the ​commencement of the
​Art. 2207. If the plaintiff's property has been insured, and he has received indemnity voyage​. “Seaworthiness relates to a vessel's ​actual condition.
from the insurance company for the injury or loss arising out of the wrong or breach of
contract complained of the insurance company shall be subrogated to the rights of the Neither the granting of classification or the issuance of certificates
insured against the wrongdoer or the person who has violated the contract. If the establishes seaworthiness.”
amount paid by the insurance company does not fully cover the injury or loss, the
aggrieved party shall be entitled to recover the deficiency from the person causing the
6. (Second Issue) The marine insurance policy is not necessary in this
loss or injury. case. The ​subrogation receipt, ​by itself, is ​sufficient to establish
(1) th​e relationship of AHAC​, as insurer, ​and Caltex​, as the
assured shipper of the lost cargo and (2) the ​amount paid to settle
the insurance claim. The ​right of subrogation accrues simply
upon payment by the insurance company of the insurance claim.​
7. The presentation of the insurance policy was necessary in the case
of ​Home Insurance Corporation v. CA ​because the shipment
therein passed through several stages with different parties
involved in each stage. In that case, in the absence of proof of
stipulations to the contrary, the hauler can be liable only for any
damage that occurred from the time it received the cargo until it
finally delivered it to the consignee. It cannot be held responsible
for the handling of the cargo before it actually received it. The
insurance contract, which was not presented in evidence in that
case would have indicated the scope of the insurer's liability​, if
any, since ​no evidence was adduced indicating at what stage in
the handling process the damage to the cargo was sustained​.
8. In this case, there is no doubt that the cargo of oil belonging to
Caltex was lost while on board MT Maysun, which was owned by
Delsan. Thus, Delsan cannot deny its liability.