Monday, May 4, 2009

Insurer Did Not Have Duty To Notify of Expiring Life Insurance Policy

In Jackson National Life Insurance Co. v. Lovallo (1D08-2536) the First DCA held the appellant insurance company did not have a legal duty to notify anyone that the life insurance policy would soon expire.

The appellee was the former wife of the deceased. The divorce occurred prior to the death and the wife was awarded any proceeds of the policy as a part of the divorce. The wife argued the insurer should have informed her the policy would soon be expiring and given her an opportunity to renew the policy. The court held:

We are concerned here with the right to renew, not with simple non-payment of premiums. Section 627.4555, Florida Statutes (2008), which requires issuers of life insurance policies to notify policy holders of the nonpayment of premiums, only applies, moreover, to policies issued on or after October 1, 1997, and thus has no application to the policy in dispute here, which was issued in 1994.

There being no contractual, statutory, or common law basis upon which an owner of a renewable, term life insurance policy is entitled to receive notice of the right to renew beyond the notice in the policy itself, we are constrained to reverse the summary judgment entered below.


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