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Insurance Case Digest: Enriquez v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada (1920)

G.R. No. L-15895             November 29, 1920
Lessons Applicable: Perfection (Insurance)

  • September 24, 1917: Joaquin Herrer made application to the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada through its office in Manila for a life annuity
  • 2 days later: he paid P6,000 to the manager of the company's Manila office and was given a receipt
  • according to the provisional receipt, 3 things had to be accomplished by the insurance company before there was a contract: 
    • (1) There had to be a medical examination of the applicant; -check
    • (2) there had to be approval of the application by the head office of the company; and - check
    • (3) this approval had in some way to be communicated by the company to the applicant - ?
  • November 26, 1917: The head office at Montreal, Canada gave notice of acceptance by cable to Manila but this was not mailed
  • December 4, 1917: policy was issued at Montreal
  • December 18, 1917: attorney Aurelio A. Torres wrote to the Manila office of the company stating that Herrer desired to withdraw his application
  • December 19, 1917: local office replied to Mr. Torres, stating that the policy had been issued, and called attention to the notification of November 26, 1917
  • December 21, 1917 morning: received by Mr. Torres
  • December 20, 1917: Mr. Herrer died
  • Rafael Enriquez, as administrator of the estate of the late Joaquin Ma. Herrer filed to recover from Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada through its office in Manila for a life annuity
  • RTC: favored Sun Life Insurance
ISSUE: W/N Mr. Herrera received notice of acceptance of his application thereby perfecting his life annuity

HELD: NO. Judgment is reversed, and the Enriquez shall have and recover from the Sun Life the sum of P6,000 with legal interest from November 20, 1918, until paid, without special finding as to costs in either instance. So ordered.

Civil Code
Art. 1319 (formerly Art.1262)
Art. 1319. Consent is manifested by the meeting of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract. The offer must be certain and the acceptance absolute. A qualified acceptance constitutes a counter-offer.
Acceptance made by letter or telegram does not bind the offerer except from the time it came to his knowledge. The contract, in such a case, is presumed to have been entered into in the place where the offer was made.
  • not perfected because it has not been proved satisfactorily that the acceptance of the application ever came to the knowledge of the applicant