New Regulation of the Insurance’s House of Lisbon
Feeling the need to gather, in a single diploma, the regulatory provisions of the exercise of insurance, on 30th August 1820 was approved a new Regulation of the Insurance’s House, composed of 40 articles.
Over five years this new Regulation was studied and prepared (the need for amendment was taken by Resolution of 6th November 1815), which was signed in Rio de Janeiro. King Dom João VI determined, by this document, that the causes of insurance should be entrusted to the Insurance’s House.
According to this regulation, both individual and collective insurers, national or foreign, were allowed to insure in Portugal, but must enjoy “…good reputation and credit, and have no legal incapacity to contract” (article 2 of the Insurance’s House Regulation).
The President and Members of the Board of Trade and the officers of the House were also excluded from the status of insurers, to avoid promiscuity between scribes and brokers.
Very clearly, the rules of the insurance contract were established, making the “Policy” mandatory as a title of contract, without which all insurance would be null and void.
It imposed obligations on insurers, in particular to ensure the rights of insured persons, without prejudice to the latter’s also determining duties, and it was considered that the insured person was the insurer’s natural procurator, to whom he had to answer for the salvaged.
The Breakdown Regulation (also approved by Resolution of 30th August 1820), is part of these new rules of the Insurance’s House. The text of the breakdowns definitively established the damage covered by the insurance in the maritime branch, namely “ribald” or “uprising of the captain”, “of crews” and “…all other cases not expressed here shall be determined by him, and that the parties shall not beware in the policies.” (Article 23 of the Insurance’s House Rules).
“A Companhia de Seguros Bonança – Notícia Histórica” by José Hermano Saraiva
Image extracted from regular “Arquivo Financeiro e Segurador, nº 57, janeiro de 1939, pág. 8”, “A Casa dos Seguros – a sua Fundação, os seus Regulamentos e a sua Extinção” by Albino Lapa