Southern Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm and Hail Underwriting Ass'n, No. 23515

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHARWELL; CHANDLER, FINNEY and TOAL, JJ. and JOHN P. GARDNER
Citation306 S.C. 339,412 S.E.2d 377
Docket NumberNo. 23515
Decision Date31 October 1991
PartiesSOUTHERN MUTUAL CHURCH INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant, v. SOUTH CAROLINA WINDSTORM AND HAIL UNDERWRITING ASSOCIATION, Respondent. . Heard

Page 377

412 S.E.2d 377
306 S.C. 339
SOUTHERN MUTUAL CHURCH INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant,
v.
SOUTH CAROLINA WINDSTORM AND HAIL UNDERWRITING ASSOCIATION,
Respondent.
No. 23515.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard Oct. 31, 1991.
Decided Dec. 2, 1991.

Page 378

[306 S.C. 340] David B. Betts, Chapin, for appellant.

James C. Gray, Jr., and B. Rush Smith, III, of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, Columbia, for respondent.

HARWELL, Justice:

Appellant Southern Mutual Church Insurance Company (Southern Mutual) appeals from the order of the trial judge granting summary judgment to respondent South Carolina Windstorm and Hail Underwriting Association (Association). The sole issue on appeal is whether the trial judge erred in holding that Southern Mutual was not exempt from participation in the Association. We affirm.

I. FACTS

The legislature created the Association in 1971 to ensure that windstorm and hail insurance would be available in the coastal regions of South Carolina. See S.C.Code Ann §§ 38-75-310 - 38-75-460 (1989). All authorized property insurers in South Carolina are members of the Association and share expenses, profits, and losses of the Association. By statute, insurers[306 S.C. 341] whose "writings are limited to property wholly owned by parent, subsidiary, or allied organizations" are excluded from participation in the Association. S.C.Code Ann. § 38-75-330 (1989).

Southern Mutual is a domestic mutual insurance company created in 1928 to insure property owned by churches. Originally intended to insure the property of Baptist churches, Southern Mutual now writes insurance in South Carolina and Georgia for property owned by various Protestant denominations. Southern Mutual has been a member of the Association since the Association's inception, and has participated in the business of the Association by paying assessments and receiving profit distributions. Southern Mutual first requested exemption from participation in the Association in 1974, but this request was denied. Southern Mutual again requested an exemption in 1987, but this request was also denied.

Following the major destruction caused by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the Association was required to assess its members in order to pay losses under its policies. Southern Mutual was assessed $1,020,200.00 as its pro rata share of anticipated losses. Subsequent to this assessment, Southern Mutual again sought an exemption from participation in the Association. After its request was denied, Southern Mutual paid the assessment under protest and commenced a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that it was exempt from participation in the Association and was, therefore, entitled to a refund of the $1,020,200.00. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial judge granted the Association's motion for summary judgment. Southern Mutual appeals.

II. DISCUSSION

The statute creating the...

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24 practice notes
  • Eagle Container v. County of Newberry, No. 4037.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 15 Diciembre 2005
    ...S.C. at 366, 574 S.E.2d at 206 (Ct.App.2002) (citing Southern Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 412 S.E.2d 377 (1991)). "Under the plain meaning rule, it is not the court's place to change the meaning of a clear and unambiguous stat......
  • State v. Dupree, No. 3657.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 30 Junio 2003
    ...looking at the other terms used in the statute. Southern Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm & Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 412 S.E.2d 377 (1991). Courts should consider not merely the language of the particular clause being construed, but the word and its meaning......
  • Liberty Mut. Ins. v. Sc Second Injury Fund, No. 3949.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 22 Febrero 2005
    ...338 (Ct.App.2004), cert. granted (Jan. 7, 2005) (citing S. Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm & Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 342, 412 S.E.2d 377, 379 (1991)); Dupree, 354 S.C. at 693, 583 S.E.2d at Courts should consider not merely the language of the particular ......
  • State v. Baucom, No. 2946.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 16 Febrero 1999
    ...by looking at the other terms used in the statute. Southern Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm and Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 412 S.E.2d 377 (1991). Courts should consider not merely the language of the particular clause being construed, but the word and its meanin......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Eagle Container v. County of Newberry, No. 4037.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 15 Diciembre 2005
    ...S.C. at 366, 574 S.E.2d at 206 (Ct.App.2002) (citing Southern Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 412 S.E.2d 377 (1991)). "Under the plain meaning rule, it is not the court's place to change the meaning of a clear and unambiguous stat......
  • State v. Dupree, No. 3657.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 30 Junio 2003
    ...looking at the other terms used in the statute. Southern Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm & Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 412 S.E.2d 377 (1991). Courts should consider not merely the language of the particular clause being construed, but the word and its meaning......
  • Liberty Mut. Ins. v. Sc Second Injury Fund, No. 3949.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 22 Febrero 2005
    ...338 (Ct.App.2004), cert. granted (Jan. 7, 2005) (citing S. Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm & Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 342, 412 S.E.2d 377, 379 (1991)); Dupree, 354 S.C. at 693, 583 S.E.2d at Courts should consider not merely the language of the particular ......
  • State v. Baucom, No. 2946.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 16 Febrero 1999
    ...by looking at the other terms used in the statute. Southern Mut. Church Ins. Co. v. South Carolina Windstorm and Hail Underwriting Ass'n, 306 S.C. 339, 412 S.E.2d 377 (1991). Courts should consider not merely the language of the particular clause being construed, but the word and its meanin......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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