UCPB vs Masagana (G.R. No. 137172 June 15, 1999)

UCPB General Insurance Co. Inc vs Masagana Telamart Inc
G.R. No. 137172 June 15, 1999

Facts: On April 15, 1991, petitioner issued five (5) insurance policies covering respondent’s various property described therein against fire, for the period from May 22, 1991 to May 22, 1992. In March 1992, petitioner evaluated the policies and decided not to renew them upon expiration of their terms on May 22, 1992. Petitioner advised respondent’s broker, Zuellig Insurance Brokers, Inc. of its intention not to renew the policies. On April 6, 1992, petitioner gave written notice to respondent of the non-renewal of the policies at the address stated in the policies. On June 13, 1992, fire razed respondent’s property covered by three of the insurance policies petitioner issued. On July 13, 1992, respondent presented to petitioner’s cashier at its head office five (5) manager’s checks in the total amount of P225,753.95, representing premium for the renewal of the policies from May 22, 1992 to May 22, 1993. No notice of loss was filed by respondent under the policies prior to July 14, 1992. On July 14, 1992, respondent filed with petitioner its formal claim for indemnification of the insured property razed by fire. On the same day, July 14, 1992, petitioner returned to respondent the five (5) manager’s checks that it tendered, and at the same time rejected respondent’s claim for the reasons (a) that the policies had expired and were not renewed, and (b) that the fire occurred on June 13, 1992, before respondent’s tender of premium payment.

Issue: Whether or not respondent is entitled to compensation despite the renewal of the insurance policy after the occurrence of the event insured.

Held: No. An insurance policy, other than life, issued originally or on renewal, is not valid and binding until actual payment of the premium. Any agreement to the contrary is void. 11 The parties may not agree expressly or impliedly on the extension of creditor time to pay the premium and consider the policy binding before actual payment.

Here, the payment of the premium for renewal of the policies was tendered on July 13, 1992, a month after the fire occurred on June 13, 1992. The assured did not even give the insurer a notice of loss within a reasonable time after occurrence of the fire.

 

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