But upon hearing what was further offered, I think the plaintiffs are not entitled to be relieved.
There may be three questions made in this cause.
First, Whether this accident which has happened is such a loss, as obliges the defendants to make satisfaction to the plaintiffs?
Secondly, Whether, upon the terms of the original policy, the office is obliged to do it?
Thirdly, Which is rather consequential of the former, whether the plaintiffs are properly assignees of Mrs. Strode under this policy?
If this matter rested singly upon the policy itself, I should not think it such a loss, as would oblige the defendants to make satisfaction.
Under this policy, the state of the case is, Mrs. Strode was only a lessee, her time expired at Midsummer 1740, the house was burnt down the January after, within the seven years; the plaintiffs, the Saddlers company, were ground landlords, and entitled to the reversion of the term : Upon the 23d of February 1740, seven months after the expiration of the term, and one month after the fire, the assignment was made, and in consideration of five shillings only, so that it must be taken as a voluntary assignment as it stands before me.
It has been insisted, on the part of the defendants, that the plain-tiffs are not entitled to recover as standing in the place of Mrs. Strode, because she had no loss or damage, her interest ceasing before the fire happened.
And this introduces the second and third questions.
I am of opinion, it is necessary the party insured, should have an interest or property at the time of the insuring, and at the time the fire happens.
It has been said for the plaintiffs, that it is in nature of a wager laid by the insurance company, and that it does not signify to whom they pay, if lost.
Now these insurances from fire have been introduced in later times, and therefore differ from insurance of ships, because there interest or no interest is almost constantly inserted, and if not inserted, you cannot recover unless you prove a property.
The insuring of ships is as old as the laws of Oleron and Rhodes whose inhabitants were the great traders of the world; look into the books that treat of insuring, and you will find the term is, aversio periculi, the intention of all insurances being to avert any damages or loss the insured might sustain: Upon this principle, in all modern insurances of ships interest or no interest is introduced, and, between the subjects of different nations, for this reason, because a great deal of contraband trade is carried on, and I believe began in the Spanish trade first.