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Clause 17-30. Excluded perils/Ref. Clause 2-8

The most common damage is that seines get caught on the sea bed. The insurers are prepared to cover such damage subject to the limitations that follow from sub-clauses (a) to (e). Such cover could actually be achieved by extending the Clause defining liability, while otherwise retaining the principle of a positive specification of the perils covered. Because it is difficult to prove that "currents" and "heavy catch" are causes of damage, the Committee found it more expedient to change to a negative specification of the perils covered, even if such a transition may cause some uncertainty as regards the actual content of the cover. To safeguard the position of the insurer in connection with such a revision of the description of the perils covered, the burden of proof in respect of exclusions has been reversed in relation to Cl. 2-12, cf. below.

Sub-clause (a) entails that the insurer is only liable for loss resulting from the net or seine getting caught in an unknown wreck or unknown wreckage. Damage resulting from ordinary contact with the sea bed, for instance if the net or seine gets caught on natural obstacles that are part of the general character of the sea bed, is not covered.

The wreck is "known" when it is indicated on a chart, in e.g. the Notices to Mariners published by the Norwegian Maritime Directorate or in corresponding foreign publications. The term "unknown" is meant to be an objective criterion. The assured cannot argue that he was not aware of wreckage that has been made known to the public as stated above. On the other hand, the wreckage must be regarded as known if the assured had knowledge of it, even if it might not have been made known to the public.

Sub-clause (d) provides that the insurer is not liable for loss resulting from nets and seines being in contact with ice. Sub-clause (e) is based on the same principle as Cl. 10-3 of the Plan, and establishes that the insurer does not cover losses resulting from normal use of the object insured. This will be the case, for example, where large seines and nets are lost due to the weight of the fish and sea currents.

It follows from the principle in Cl. 2-12, sub-clauses 1 and 2, of the Plan that the insurer, under an all-risks insurance, has the burden of proving that the damage was caused by an excluded peril. Under Cl. 17-30, sub-clause 2, this rule of the burden of proof for exclusions has been reversed, thus placing the burden of proof on the assured. This has been necessary in order to give the assured the better cover inherent in a negative specification of the perils covered.

The earlier exclusions in sub-clause 2 (b) of the provision regarding gear used for shore-locking and the like, sub-clause (c) regarding infringements of statutes or official regulations, and sub-clause (d) regarding measures to avert or minimise loss have been deleted. The exclusion for shore-locking was superfluous because gear is no longer used in that way, while infringements of statutes or regulations are governed by safety regulations. The insurers are willing to cover measures to avert or minimise loss.