Ong Lim Sing vs FEB Leasing (G.R. No. 168115 June 8, 2007)

Ong Lim Sing Jr. FEB Leasing & Finance Corporation
G.R. No. 168115 June 8, 2007

Facts: On March 9, 1995, FEB Leasing and Finance Corporation (FEB) entered into a lease of equipment and motor vehicles with JVL Food Products (JVL). On the same date, Vicente Ong Lim Sing, Jr. (Lim) executed an Individual Guaranty Agreement with FEB to guarantee the prompt and faithful performance of the terms and conditions of the aforesaid lease agreement. Corresponding Lease Schedules with Delivery and Acceptance Certificates over the equipment and motor vehicles formed part of the agreement. Under the contract, JVL was obliged to pay FEB an aggregate gross monthly rental of One Hundred Seventy Thousand Four Hundred Ninety-Four Pesos (P 170,494.00).  JVL defaulted in the payment of the monthly rentals. As of July 31, 2000, the amount in arrears, including penalty charges and insurance premiums, amounted to Three Million Four Hundred Fourteen Thousand Four Hundred Sixty Eight and 75/100 Pesos (P3,414,468.75). On August 23, 2000, FEB sent a letter to JVL demanding payment of the said amount. However, JVL failed to pay.

Issue: Whether or not JVL as the lessee have an insurable interest over the leased items.

Held: Yes. The stipulation in Section 14 of the lease contract, that the equipment shall be insured at the cost and expense of the lessee against loss, damage, or destruction from fire, theft, accident, or other insurable risk for the full term of the lease, is a binding and valid stipulation. Petitioner, as a lessee, has an insurable interest in the equipment and motor vehicles leased. Section 17 of the Insurance Code provides that the measure of an insurable interest in property is the extent to which the insured might be damnified by loss or injury thereof. It cannot be denied that JVL will be directly damnified in case of loss, damage, or destruction of any of the properties leased.

It has also been held that the test of insurable interest in property is whether the assured has a right, title or interest therein that he will be benefited by its preservation and continued existence or suffer a direct pecuniary loss from its destruction or injury by the peril insured against.

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