White Paper

In Rem: History and Commercial Insurance Application

For those in the commercial casualty insurance industry, you may have come across the term “In Rem,” but may not be very familiar with it. Just what is In Rem, how did it come about, and what place does it have in certain insurance contracts?

White Paper Summary

An action “In Rem” has its foundation in Roman law and is closely related to maritime law.  It is associated with the early days of shipping, where a suit was filed against the value of a ship and/or its cargo by an injured member of the crew pursuing recovery of damages (e.g., wages or personal injuries).  In this type of action, the ship would be treated as a wrongdoer, not the owner.  The loss, damage, or harm is considered to be caused by the maritime property itself, and the maritime property has to make good for the alleged loss or injury.


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The General Insurance Group is the largest business segment within the Old Republic Insurance Group and specializes in the property & casualty marketplace. Each company focuses on a select segment, offering specialized insurance coverages or specializing by industries. This is our competitive advantage. While collectively we offer a full suite of risk management and insurance solutions, our expertise in unique industry segments is unsurpassed. We serve large corporations with complex risks, small and mid-sized companies, and consumers with home and auto warranty offerings.

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