Insurance contracts: General aspects and their application in land transport contracts

By | October 30, 2021

In this article we are going to try to explain what an insurance contract is, what its nature is, who are the agents involved in these types of contracts and how insurance contracts work in a concrete way in land transport.

We are going to start by trying to make an approximation of what insurance contracts are and what they consist of. In these contracts there is a first party called the “insurer”, which receives a premium from the “insured”. In exchange for this premium, the insurer agrees to give compensation to the insured. To give this compensation, a series of events must occur which are agreed in the insurance contract.

Law 50/1980, which is the Law that regulates insurance contracts, in its third article establishes that the conditions of these contracts must be drafted clearly and precisely, highlighting mainly what are the limits that will allow the insured to collect compensation when something happens.


Policy: it is the most important document of the contract. It contains all the rights and duties of the parties.

The policyholder: is the person who contracts the insurance and signs the policy. He is the one who assumes the conditions of the contract.

The insured: is the party on whom the effects of the insurance fall.

The insurer: it is the insurance company that is obliged to comply with the insured party when the risks occur in exchange for receiving the premium from the insured.


 Article 22 of the Insurance Law deals with the duration of insurance contracts, which have a specified duration, which is reflected in the policy at the time the insurance is contracted and which will have a maximum duration of 10 years. This maximum period can be extended for a longer time, but each extension may not exceed one year. It should also be noted that the terms of opposition to the extension, as well as to the extension itself, will also be included in the policy.

Within the Insurance Contract Law there are different types of insurance contracts depending on their application. In this article we are going to see the application of these contracts in land transport.

In these cases of insurance contracts, the compensation tends to be allocated to the damages produced in the transported products or the means used to transport said products, examples of these cases are found in STS First Room 467/2010 and 2544/2008, in In these cases, the damage occurs in the transported product and where the insurer is the one who financially compensates the insured party for the damage caused.

This type of insurance can be contracted both for specific routes or to insure all routes for a period of time.

Regarding when the insurance begins to produce its effects, generally, it occurs when the merchandise is delivered to the carrier at the point of departure where it should leave and stops producing those effects at the moment in which they are delivered at the destination point. . This is established in article 58 of the Insurance Law.

Within the insurance contracts in the means of land transport, different events may appear, such as the modification of the means of transport used, a change in the transport itinerary or a change in the delivery date of the merchandise. These facts may raise doubts as to whether the insured may be entitled to compensation under such circumstances. The answer to this question is found in article 60 of the Insurance Law, which establishes that the insured will not lose his right to compensation before the occurrence of these events, although an exception applies when these events are not attributable to the insurer, without prejudice to the provisions of articles 11 and 12, which refer to the fact that if there is an alteration of some of the intervening factors, the insured must notify the insurer. If this alteration gives rise to the insurer not wanting to sign the contract, the insurer has a period of two months from the notification of the aggravation to propose a modification of the contract, an example of this situation can be found in ruling 467/2010 before mentioned, where the insurer financially compensates the insurer and takes actions against the party that did not efficiently execute the contracted benefits, claiming the amount paid to the insured plus certain expenses. This shows how insurance contracts applied to land transport are produced and come to fruition,

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