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The act of the insured in notifying the insurer that owing to damage done to the subject of the insurance, he elects to take the amount of the insurance in the place of the subject thereof, the remnant of which he cedes to the insurer. A relinquishment or cession of property by the owner to the insurer to make a claim for a total loss, when in fact is is so by construction only. 

The exercise of a right which a party having insured goods or vessels has to call upon the insurers, in cases where the insured has, by the perils of the sea, become so damages as to be of little value, to accept of what might be saved, and to pay the full amount of the insurance, as if a total loss has actually happened. 

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