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Insurance Case Digest: Del Rosario v. Equitable Ins. and Casualty Co., Inc. (1963)

G.R. No. L-16215            June 29, 1963
Lessons Applicable: Ambiguous Provisions Interpreted Against Insurer (Insurance)

  • April 13, 1957: Simeon del Rosario, father of the insured who died from drowning filed a claim for payment with Equitable Ins. and Casualty Co., Inc. but it refused to pay more than P1,000 php so a case was filed with the RTC for the P2,000 balance stating that under the policy they are entitled to P1,000 to P3,000 as indemnity
  • RTC: entitled to recover P3,000 - policy does not positively state any definite amount, there is an ambiguity in this respect in the policy, which ambiguity must be interpreted in favor of the insured and strictly against the insurer so as to allow greater indemnity
ISSUE: W/N Simeon is entitled to recover P3,000 

  • terms in an insurance policy, which are ambiguous, equivocal or uncertain are to be construed strictly against, the insurer, and liberally in favor of the insured so as to effect the dominant purpose of indemnity or payment to the insured, especially where a forfeiture is involved
  • reason for this rule is that the "insured usually has no voice in the selection or arrangement of the words employed and that the language of the contract is selected with great care and deliberation by expert and legal advisers employed by, and acting exclusively in the interest of, the insurance company