Glover v. Rowan Mut. Fire Ins. Co

Decision Date19 November 1947
Docket NumberNo. 388.,388.
Citation228 N.C. 195,45 S.E.2d 45
PartiesGLOVER. v. ROWAN MUT. FIRE INS. CO.
CourtNorth Carolina Supreme Court

Appeal from Superior Court, Rowan County; Felix E. Alley, Sr., Judge.

Controversy without action involving claim of Roy Glover upon fire policy against Rowan Mutual Fire Insurance Company. From an adverse judgment, defendant appeals.

Judgment affirmed.

Controversy without action involving claim of plaintiff against defendant upon a policy of fire insurance, --submitted for a determination of the rights of the parties, arising upon an agreed statement of facts substantially as summarized in defendant, appellants', brief, as follows: Plaintiff, a resident of Rowan County, N. C, is the owner in fee of the unencumbered title to certain property in said county involved in this controversy.

The defendant is a mutual fire insurance company, incorporated under the laws of North Carolina in the year 1902, for the purpose of providing fire insurance for its members upon an assessment basis. Under the terms of its charter the defendant is restricted to the issuance of policies upon rural properties in Rowan County belonging to its members.

The defendant conducts its business under the provisions of its constitution and by-laws, duly adopted by its members. Section III, Article 3, of the constitution, contains the following: "If any building insured under this policy is constructed of wood and covered with wood and situate within two hundred (200) feet of the combustible property of a neighbor, or is con-structed of wood and covered with slate, asphalt or metal and situate within one hundred and fifty (150) feet of the combustible property of a neighbor, or is constructed of brick and metal and situate within one hundred (100) feet of the combustible property of a neighbor, and is damaged or destroyed by fire or lightning from cause arising from adjacent building or buildings, other than outbuildings belonging to the Assured, this policy is null and void and of no effect."

Approximately twenty years prior to the institution of this action the plaintiff erected a garage and two tenant houses situate in an undeveloped area some distance outside the corporate limits of the City of Salisbury, there being no building on adjoining property within 150 feet of any of said structures. Upon completion of said structures the plaintiff became a member of the defendant, and as such member insured said structures against loss by fire in the defendant company in the sum of $1200, receiving a policy of insurance, upon the face of which was clearly printed Section III, Article 3, of the constitution and by-laws above quoted.

Some ten years later the owner of the adjoining property, one E. A. Goodman, erected a frame dwelling within 150 feet of the plaintiff's property.

Subsequently to the enactment of Chapter 378 of the 1945 Session Laws, which provides, Sec. 58-177 that "No fire insurance company shall issue fire insurance policies on property in this state other than those of the standard form as set forth in section 58-176, " the defendant adopted the standard policy prescribed by said Act and submitted the same for approval to the Commissioner of Insurance of North Carolina, who approved said policy, together with the waiver appearing on page 3 of said policy, which waiver conforms to Section III, Article 3, of the defendant's constitution hereinbefore quoted.

On the 6th day of September, 1946, the plaintiff's garage and tenant houses were totally destroyed by fire which originated in the Goodman building, a frame structure within 150 feet of the plaintiff's property, -- said garage and tenant houses having at the time an actual cash value of $1,200.

Upon these facts plaintiff prays judgment against defendant in the sum of $1,200 together with costs of the proceeding, and defendant prays that plaintiff take nothing by this proceeding and that it recover of plaintiff its costs, to be taxed by the Clerk.

The court, after having heard argument of counsel for plaintiff, and of counsel for defendant, being of opinion and concluding upon the facts agreed that plaintiff is entitled to recover of defendant the sum of $1,200, together with interest as stated, entered judgment therefor with costs to be taxed.

Defendant appeals therefrom to the Supreme Court and assigns error.

Linn & Shuford, of Salisbury, for appellant.

Craige & Craige, of Salisbury, for appellee.

WINBORNE, Justice.

This is the pivotal question on this appeal: Are the provisions of Section III of Article 3 of the constitution of defendant and incorporated as "Waiver" in the fire insurance policy upon which claim is based, restrictive of the provisions of the form of the "Standard fire insurance policy of the State of North Carolina", adopted by the General Assembly as set out in Chapter 378, 1945 Session Laws of North Carolina?

The judgment below is based, necessarily, upon an affirmative answer and, with it, we are in agreement.

The Insurance Law of this State, Chapter 58 of the General Statutes, pertinent to question here under consideration, provides...

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13 cases
  • Marriott Financial Services, Inc. v. Capitol Funds, Inc.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 27 Agosto 1975
    ...523, 180 S.E.2d 823 (limited partnership agreement formed as a part of a usurious loan transaction declared void); Glover v. Insurance Co., 228 N.C. 195, 45 S.E.2d 45 (insurance company not allowed to vary the statutory requirements for a standard fire insurance policy); Courtney v. Parker,......
  • Rose v. Vulcan Materials Co.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 14 Febrero 1973
    ...validity, such provisions may be enforced. In re Publishing Co., 231 N.C. 395, 57 S.E.2d 366, 14 A.L.R.2d 842 (1950); Glover v. Ins. Co., 228 N.C. 195, 45 S.E.2d 45 (1947); Annunity Co. v. Costner, 149 N.C. 293, 63 S.E. 304 (1908). 'It is well established that the fact that a stipulation is......
  • C. O. Gore v. George J. Ball, Inc.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 30 Julio 1971
    ...public policy will not be enforced. In re Port Publishing Co., 231 N.C. 395, 57 S.E.2d 366, 14 A.L.R.2d 842; Glover v. Rowan Mut. Fire Insurance Co., 228 N.C. 195, 45 S.E.2d 45; Cauble v. Trexler, 227 N.C. 307, 42 S.E.2d 77; Seminole Phosphate Co. v. Johnson, 188 N.C. 419, 428, 124 S.E. 859......
  • Banyan GW, LLC v. Wayne Preparatory Acad. Charter Sch., Inc.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals
    • 5 Febrero 2019
    ...as a result of the SSA, the SSA was an illegal contract contrary to North Carolina’s public policy. See Glover v. Rowan Mut. Fire Ins. Co. , 228 N.C. 195, 198, 45 S.E.2d 45, 47 (1947) ("[A]greements are against public policy when they tend to the violation of a statute." (citation omitted) ......
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