Sunday, October 16, 2011

Country Bankers Insurance Corporation v. Antonio Lagman, G.R. No. 165487, July 13, 2011.

Insurance; effectivity of bonds. (J. Abad)

Lagman anchors his defense on two (2) arguments: 1) the 1989 Bonds have expired and 2) the 1990 Bond novates the 1989 Bonds. The Court of Appeals held that the 1989 bonds were effective only for one (1) year, as evidenced by the receipts on the payment of premiums. The Supreme Court did not agree. 

The official receipts in question serve as proof of payment of the premium for one year on each surety bond. It does not, however, automatically mean that the surety bond is effective for only one (1) year. In fact, the effectivity of the bond is not wholly dependent on the payment of premium. Section 177 of the Insurance Code expresses: 
Sec. 177. The surety is entitled to payment of the premium as soon as the contract of suretyship or bond is perfected and delivered to the obligor. No contract of suretyship or bonding shall be valid and binding unless and until the premium therefor has been paid, except where the obligee has accepted the bond, in which case the bond becomes valid and enforceable irrespective of whether or not the premium has been paid by the obligor to the surety:Provided, That if the contract of suretyship or bond is not accepted by, or filed with the obligee, the surety shall collect only reasonable amount, not exceeding fifty per centum of the premium due thereon as service fee plus the cost of stamps or other taxes imposed for the issuance of the contract or bond: Provided, however, That if the non-acceptance of the bond be due to the fault or negligence of the surety, no such service fee, stamps or taxes shall be collected.

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