Greenwich Insurance Company v. State

CourtSupreme Court of Arkansas
Writing for the CourtHILL, C. J.
Citation84 S.W. 1025,74 Ark. 72
PartiesGREENWICH INSURANCE COMPANY v. STATE
Decision Date28 January 1905

84 S.W. 1025

74 Ark. 72

GREENWICH INSURANCE COMPANY
v.

STATE

Supreme Court of Arkansas

January 28, 1905


[84 S.W. 1026] [Copyrighted Material Omitted] [84 S.W. 1027]

Appeal from Jefferson Circuit Court ANTONIO B. GRACE, Judge.

Affirmed.

This suit was brought by the State for the use of Frank J. Murray against the Greenwich Insurance Company and its sureties to recover on two policies of insurance for the sum of $ 1,000 each, issued on the following property: "Stock of lumber, laths and shingles, dressed and undressed, while contained in the one-story, shingle-roof frame shed, situated on block 71, and on their open yards situated in blocks 71 and 72, Pine Bluff, Arkansas." The complaint alleges that on December 25, 1900, while said policies were in force, all the property situated in the above frame shed was totally destroyed by fire, and that in the open yards was partially destroyed. That the value of said property so destroyed was at least $ 6,000, and that plaintiff had other insurance aggregating $ 3,000, in addition to the policies issued by defendant insurance company.

The insurance company answered, denying that it ever issued any policy covering the property alleged to have been damaged or destroyed by fire, that plaintiff had fully complied with the conditions of the said policies, including notice of loss, or that the insurance company had refused to accept said notice, and that it was indebted to appellee in the sum demanded; and alleging that Murray had failed to file proofs of loss and to keep a set of books, as required under the terms of the said policies.

The policy was of the standard form, including both the ordinary iron-safe clause and the 85 per cent. co-insurance and value clause, which was in the following language:

"It is hereby expressly stipulated that if at the time of fire the whole amount of insurance on the property covered by any item of this policy shall be less than 85 per cent. of the actual cash value thereof, this company shall, in case of loss or damage, be liable for only such portion of such loss or damage as the amount insured under said item shall bear to 85 per cent. of the actual cash value of the property covered by such item; provided, that in case the whole amount of insurance on the property covered by any item shall exceed 85 per cent. of the actual cash value of the same, this company shall not, under said item, be liable to pay more than its pro rata share of 85 per cent. of the actual cash value of such property; and, should the whole insurance on any item at the time of fire exceed the said 85 per cent., a pro rata return of premium on such excess of insurance from the time of the fire to the expiration of this policy shall be made upon the surrender of this policy."

Plaintiff testified that at the time the first policy in defendant's company was taken out there was only one shingle-roof shed in his lumber yard, situated in block 71, in Pine Bluff, the rest of the yard being open; that subsequently, but before the second policy was taken out, he built and used as part of the yard a box shed with asbestos fire-proof roofing; that afterwards he took out the second policy in defendant's company; that defendant's agent inspected the yard after the second shed was built, and knew it was used for storing lumber; that the loss under the asbestos shed was $ 5,436.42, and outside this shed $ 425.10; that after the fire he notified defendant's agent; that the adjuster came, and plaintiff presented him a list, but he refused to furnish plaintiff a blank for proof of loss, and denied liability; that plaintiff kept a set of books, as required, in an iron safe after night.

At defendant's request, the court instructed the jury as follows:

"The court instructs the jury that the policy sued on herein contains the following covenants:

"'The assured shall take a complete itemized inventory of stock on hand at least once in each calendar year; and unless such inventory has been taken of the property covered by this policy within twelve calendar months prior to the date thereof, one shall be taken in detail within thirty days after the date thereof.

"'And the assured shall keep a set of books which shall clearly and plainly represent a complete record of business transacted, including all purchases, sales and shipments, both for cash and credit, from the date of the inventory; and upon the plaintiff's failure to keep and perform all of the said covenants, then the said policy shall be null and void.'

"So, therefore, if you believe from the evidence that the said plaintiff has failed, refused or neglected to comply substantially with either or all of the said covenants, then the plaintiff cannot recover in any sum whatever herein, and you will find for defendant."

At plaintiff's request the court charged as follows:

"1. The jury are instructed that, although the notice of loss must be given by plaintiff to defendant insurance company as required, yet the defendant insurance company may waive any delinquency on the part of the insured as to the form of notice in this respect, and such a waiver may be inferred from any conduct on the part of the insurers clearly inconsistent with any intention to insist upon the failure by the insured to give such notice in the form provided in the policy.

"3. Where it is denied by the defendant insurance company that the property shown by the evidence to have been destroyed by fire was covered by the policy, and the jury find from the evidence that there was no written application for the policy or policies under which the defendant insurance company makes such denial; if you further find from the evidence that the agent of the insurance company has given a description of the property from his knowledge obtained by personal examination of the property for the purpose of effecting the insurance thereon, which description he, the said agent, inserted in the policy, then said defendant insurance company cannot take advantage of any inaccuracy in the language of the description of said property so inserted in the policy to avoid payment for the loss of property as aforesaid, unless there is evidence of an attempt on the part of the plaintiff to mislead said defendant, or its agent, in this respect, or the conduct of the plaintiff was such as to mislead said defendant or agent. And knowledge of the insurance company or agent of inaccuracy or incompleteness in the description of the property at the time when the insurance is effected, if such is shown by the testimony, and you so find, will estop the defendant from setting up any such inaccuracy or incompleteness of description in defense in this case.

"4. The jury are instructed that no alteration made on the premises where the property insured by the plaintiff was situate would avoid his policy, nor can his recovery be defeated by means of alterations, unless the effect of the same was such as to increase the risk or hazard of loss by fire to the property insured. If the jury find from the evidence that the defendant insurance company made the policy sued upon, and the property insured was destroyed by fire, as stated in the complaint, and plaintiff complied with the agreements and conditions in the policy to be complied with on his part, or that the same were waived by defendant's agents, they will find for the plaintiff."

There was a verdict for plaintiff in the sum of $ 2,015.66. Defendant appealed.

All other facts necessary to its understanding are stated in the opinion of the court.

Judgment affirmed.

Austin...

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19 practice notes
  • Arkansas Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Woolverton
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • April 29, 1907
    ...of stock shown by the inventory. Phoenix Ins. Co. v. Public Parks Amusement Co., 63 Ark. 187, 37 S.W. 959; Greenwich Ins. Co. v. State, 74 Ark. 72, 84 S.W. 1025. The policy does not require the preservation of the inventory until the trial. It only requires preservation until after the fire......
  • Citizens' Fire Insurance Co. v. Lord
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • October 2, 1911
    ...if he assumed to act as such and the company acquiesced therein, he had authority to waive proof of loss, and did so by refusing payment. 74 Ark. 72-79; 53 Ark. 494; 62 Ark. 348; 63 Ark. 188. 3. There was no error in admitting testimony to show knowledge on the part of Reynolds of concurrin......
  • Bank of Hatfield v. Clayton, 263
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • April 2, 1923
    ...error in giving an abstract instruction on the same issue. St. L. I. M. & S. Ry. Co. v. Jacobs, 70 Ark. 401; Greenwich Ins. Co. v. State, 74 Ark. 72, 84 S.W. 1025; Western Union Tel. Co. v. Arant, 88 Ark. 499, 115 S.W. 136; Berman v. Shelby, 93 Ark. 472, 125 S.W. 124; Prairie Creek Coal Min......
  • Queen of Arkansas Insurance Co. v. forlines
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • March 14, 1910
    ...Ark. 348; 82 Ark. 150-162; 88 Ark. 506; 61 Ark. 108; 79 Ark. 315. Parol evidence was admissible to show a waiver by the agent. 88 Ark. 550; 74 Ark. 72. 3. There was a substantial compliance with the iron-safe clause. Kirby's Dig., § 4375a; 83 Ark. 130; 85 Ark. 33; 86 Ark. 119. OPINION [126 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Queen of Arkansas Insurance Co. v. forlines
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • March 14, 1910
    ...Ark. 348; 82 Ark. 150-162; 88 Ark. 506; 61 Ark. 108; 79 Ark. 315. Parol evidence was admissible to show a waiver by the agent. 88 Ark. 550; 74 Ark. 72. 3. There was a substantial compliance with the iron-safe clause. Kirby's Dig., § 4375a; 83 Ark. 130; 85 Ark. 33; 86 Ark. 119. OPINION [126 ......
  • Arkansas Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Woolverton
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • April 29, 1907
    ...of stock shown by the inventory. Phoenix Ins. Co. v. Public Parks Amusement Co., 63 Ark. 187, 37 S.W. 959; Greenwich Ins. Co. v. State, 74 Ark. 72, 84 S.W. 1025. The policy does not require the preservation of the inventory until the trial. It only requires preservation until after the fire......
  • Citizens' Fire Insurance Co. v. Lord
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • October 2, 1911
    ...if he assumed to act as such and the company acquiesced therein, he had authority to waive proof of loss, and did so by refusing payment. 74 Ark. 72-79; 53 Ark. 494; 62 Ark. 348; 63 Ark. 188. 3. There was no error in admitting testimony to show knowledge on the part of Reynolds of concurrin......
  • Dierks Lumber & Coal Co. v. Coffman
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • November 21, 1910
    ...Ark. 302; 46 Ark. 96; 70 Ark. 558; 87 Ark. 443; 70 Ark. 558; 80 Ark. 391; 81 Ark. 476; 82 Ark. 260; 83 Ark. 574; 79 Ark. 53; 90 Ark. 469; 74 Ark. 72; 90 Ark. 531. OPINION [96 Ark. 507] HART, J. This is an appeal by the Dierks Lumber & Coal Company, a corporation, from a judgment rendere......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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