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Finman General Assurance Corporation vs. C.A. (G.R. No. 100970. September 02, 1992)

28 May

FINMAN GENERAL ASSURANCE CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and JULIA SURPOSA, respondents.

Aquino and Associates for petitioner.

Public Attorney’s Office for private respondent.

Ponente: NOCON

FACTS:

[P]etitioner filed this petition alleging grove abuse of discretion on the part of the appellate court in applying the principle of “expresso unius exclusio alterius” in a personal accident insurance policy since death resulting from murder and/or assault are impliedly excluded in said insurance policy considering that the cause of death of the insured was not accidental but rather a deliberate and intentional act of the assailant in killing the former as indicated by the location of the lone stab wound on the insured. Therefore, said death was committed with deliberate intent which, by the very nature of a personal accident insurance policy, cannot be indemnified.

ISSUE:

Whether or not death petitioner is correct that results from assault or murder deemed are not included in the terms “accident” and “accidental”.

HELD:

NO. Petition for certiorari with restraining order and preliminary injunction was denied for lack of merit.

RATIO:

The terms “accident” and “accidental” as used in insurance contracts have not acquired any technical meaning, and are construed by the courts in their ordinary and common acceptation. Thus, the terms have been taken to mean that which happen by chance or fortuitously, without intention and design, and which is unexpected, unusual, and unforeseen. An accident is an event that takes place without one’s foresight or expectation — an event that proceeds from an unknown cause, or is an unusual effect of a known cause and, therefore, not expected.

[I]t is well settled that contracts of insurance are to be construed liberally in favor of the insured and strictly against the insurer. Thus ambiguity in the words of an insurance contract should be interpreted in favor of its beneficiary.

 
 

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