Malayan vs Philippines First (G.R. No. 184300 July 11, 2012)

Malayan Insurance Co., Inc vs Philippines First Insurance Co., Inc
G.R. No. 184300 July 11, 2012

Facts: Since 1989, Wyeth Philippines, Inc. (Wyeth) and respondent Reputable Forwarder Services, Inc. (Reputable) had been annually executing a contract of carriage, whereby the latter undertook to transport and deliver the former’s products to its customers, dealers or salesmen. On November 18, 1993, Wyeth procured Marine Policy No. MAR 13797 (Marine Policy) from respondent Philippines First Insurance Co., Inc. (Philippines First) to secure its interest over its own products. Philippines First thereby insured Wyeth’s nutritional, pharmaceutical and other products usual or incidental to the insured’s business while the same were being transported or shipped in the Philippines. The policy covers all risks of direct physical loss or damage from any external cause, if by land, and provides a limit of P6,000,000.00 per any one land vehicle. On December 1, 1993, Wyeth executed its annual contract of carriage with Reputable. It turned out, however, that the contract was not signed by Wyeth’s representative/s. Nevertheless, it was admittedly signed by Reputable’s representatives, the terms thereof faithfully observed by the parties and, as previously stated, the same contract of carriage had been annually executed by the parties every year since 1989. Under the contract, Reputable undertook to answer for “all risks with respect to the goods and shall be liable to the COMPANY (Wyeth), for the loss, destruction, or damage of the goods/products due to any and all causes whatsoever, including theft, robbery, flood, storm, earthquakes, lightning, and other force majeure while the goods/products are in transit and until actual delivery to the customers, salesmen, and dealers of the COMPANY”. The contract also required Reputable to secure an insurance policy on Wyeth’s goods. Thus, on February 11, 1994, Reputable signed a Special Risk Insurance Policy (SR Policy) with petitioner Malayan for the amount of P1,000,000.00. On October 6, 1994, during the effectivity of the Marine Policy and SR Policy, Reputable received from Wyeth 1,000 boxes of Promil infant formula worth P2,357,582.70 to be delivered by Reputable to Mercury Drug Corporation in Libis, Quezon City. Unfortunately, on the same date, the truck carrying Wyeth’s products was hijacked by about 10 armed men. They threatened to kill the truck driver and two of his helpers should they refuse to turn over the truck and its contents to the said highway robbers. The hijacked truck was recovered two weeks later without its cargo. Malayan questions its liability based on sections 5 and 12 of the SR Policy.

Issue: Whether or not there is double insurance in this case such that either Section 5 or Section 12 of the SR Policy may be applied.

Held: No. By the express provision of Section 93 of the Insurance Code, double insurance exists where the same person is insured by several insurers separately in respect to the same subject and interest. The requisites in order for double insurance to arise are as follows:

  1. The person insured is the same; 
  2. Two or more insurers insuring separately; 
  3. There is identity of subject matter; 
  4. There is identity of interest insured; and 
  5. There is identity of the risk or peril insured against.

In the present case, while it is true that the Marine Policy and the SR Policy were both issued over the same subject matter, i.e. goods belonging to Wyeth, and both covered the same peril insured against, it is, however, beyond cavil that the said policies were issued to two different persons or entities. It is undisputed that Wyeth is the recognized insured of Philippines First under its Marine Policy, while Reputable is the recognized insured of Malayan under the SR Policy. The fact that Reputable procured Malayan’s SR Policy over the goods of Wyeth pursuant merely to the stipulated requirement under its contract of carriage with the latter does not make Reputable a mere agent of Wyeth in obtaining the said SR Policy.

The interest of Wyeth over the property subject matter of both insurance contracts is also different and distinct from that of Reputable’s. The policy issued by Philippines First was in consideration of the legal and/or equitable interest of Wyeth over its own goods. On the other hand, what was issued by Malayan to Reputable was over the latter’s insurable interest over the safety of the goods, which may become the basis of the latter’s liability in case of loss or damage to the property and falls within the contemplation of Section 15 of the Insurance Code.

Therefore, even though the two concerned insurance policies were issued over the same goods and cover the same risk, there arises no double insurance since they were issued to two different persons/entities having distinct insurable interests. Necessarily, over insurance by double insurance cannot likewise exist. Hence, as correctly ruled by the RTC and CA, neither Section 5 nor Section 12 of the SR Policy can be applied.

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