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waive the conditions except by written endorsement. The jury found that the agent had been informed of other insurance, but the court said the company was not estopped, because to do so would contradict the plain terms of a written contract. The Chamberlain case, decided to the contrary twelve years before, was not even cited.

The question was finally cleared up in 1913 in the opinion of Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Moore 231 U. S. 543, which with only one judge dissenting, definitely repudiates the Wilkinson, Mahone and Chamberlain cases, in a decision on a set of facts almost identical with that in issue in the last named action. In Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Hilton Green, 241 U. S. 613, decided in 1916, the doctrine of the Moore case receives further support, and can now be said to be firmly established. In the course of the opinion the court said: "The assured at least consciously permitted an application containing material misrepresentations to be presented by subordinate agents to officers of the insurance company under circumstances which he knew negatived any probability that the actual facts would be revealed; and later he accepted policies which he must have understood were issued in reliance upon statements both false and material. He could claim nothing because of placing such information in the keeping of unfaithful subordinates. Moreover the false representations accompanied and were essential parts of the policies finally accepted. He did not repudiate and therefore adopted and approved, the representations upon which they were based. Beyond doubt an applicant for insurance should exercise toward the company the same good faith which may be rightly demanded of it. The relationship demands fair dealing by both parties."

In examining the law of Connecticut on this subject, a number of curious things are to be noted. In the first place the confusion referred to as existing in other courts, is not absent in our own reports. Take for example this instance: The decision in the Fletcher case in the Supreme Court of the United States, to which I have referred, and which was the starting point of the present enlightened Feleral law on the subject, was based largely on a Connecticut decision--the case of Ryan v. The World

Life Insurance Company, 41 Conn. 168, decided in 1874. That decision is a leading authority largely quoted in text books and encyclopedias. Curious as it may seem, during the fifty years of insurance law appearing in our reports, that decision has been cited only once, and has never been otherwise discussed.

Another singular situation: Insurance regulations in this State have existed in some form since 1865. The present law took shape as early as 1871. There has been a standard fire insurance policy on the statute books, required to be issued by all fire insurance companies, since 1893. This policy contains an express provision limiting the power of agents, and denying them authority to waive by oral contract the express provisions of the policy. The contents of life, liability and accident policies are carefully regulated, and the forms for them are subject to the approval of the Insurance Commissioner. In 1889 a statute was enacted, which is still on the books (General Statutes, 1918, §4121) prohibiting any discrimination in favor of individual policy holders as to amount of premiums, or as to any other term or condition of the policy. The section also prohibits any company or any agent, sub-agent, broker or any other person from making "any contract of insurance or agreement as to such contract, other than is plainly expressed in the policy issued thereon". A fine of $500. (§4294) is provided for a violation of the section. In §4122, enacted in 1917, further prohibitions of premium rebates, under penalty of a fine, are provided. In both sections, the acceptance by an assured of any special benefit or favor not specified in the policy, is made a criminal offense. Although these laws would not necessarily render void a contract made in violation of their terms, nevertheless it would seem as if their existence ought to have a real bearing on the public policy of insurance problems. And yet these statutes have never even been quoted in any decision of this state since their enactment.

Let us examine briefly some of the Connecticut decisions. Three early cases will sufficiently illustrate the trend of judicial thought prior to the decision in the Ryan case.

In Sheldon v. Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co., 25 Conn, 207, there was a declaration in the application but not

in the policy, that the policy should not be binding until after the payment of the first premium. It was held that the provision could be waived by an agent with authority to do so, and that the question of the existence of this authority was for the jury.

In Bouton v. American Mutual Life Insurance Co. 25 Conn. 550, the same provision as to the first premium payment, was contained in the policy. It was held that the company could waive, but that there was no presumption of any such authority in an agent.

So far, it will be noted, the decisions are entirely consistent with the rule for which this paper contends. No one could object to the waiver of any provision by one with authority to waive it. And it will be noted that in these cases there was no policy provision denying such power to the agent. The question as to whether such power existed was therefore properly held one of fact for the jury.

We then come to the interesting decision in Woodbury Bank . Charter Oak Insurance Company, 31 Conn. 517, decided in 1863. This was a bill for the correction of a fire policy. The plaintiff had told the agent, that he, the plaintiff, could not describe the title to the property, as it was quite confused. The agent thereupon described it inaccurately in the application. It was held that the agent acted as the representative of the company, which was bound by his knowledge. The court went out of its way to make some comments on insurance contracts generally, and the sound common sense of holding companies liable wherever possible. Quoting from the opinion: "A modern policy is a very complicated instrument. Before executing almost any other instrument of equal perplexity, the parties would deem it necessary to take the advice of able counsel. Frequently questions arise as to the proper construction of the terms used, which divide the opinions of the most learned jurists. Yet the insured are bound at their peril, however ignorant they may be on points of law, to give them their true legal construction. Now we know from common observation that not one in a hundred of those who procure policies give any attention whatever to the finely printed page

containing the conditions of a policy. They cannot afford to spend the time required to study them over, and they take it for granted that they would not be enlightened if they should. They rely with full confidence, and whatever may be the law, or whatever stipulations may be inserted in the policy, they always will rely, on the representations of the agents, and always will regard them as the representatives of the company, and will always consider themselves as safe in doing whatever receives their sanction. This court has therefore in a series of decisions, held companies bound by the acts of their local agents whenever it could be done consistent with the evidence and rules of law.”

Of course the court is right to this extent, that just so long as the policy holder is encouraged by decisions of this sort, just so long will insurance litigation flourish like the green bay tree, and just so long will the public have to pay for it through the medium of large premiums. At a time when insurance agents selling policies on everything are almost countless; when for fifty years practically every policy issued, of every sort, has contained a plain provision that these agents are authorized to solicit applications but not to make or alter contracts, it is idle to talk about the ignorance of the public, to condone negligence by saying that a person has no time to read his contracts, and to destroy the force of solemn obligations by substituting legal fiction for obvious fact.

The next decision of our court was the famous Ryan case— famous like the prophet in other jurisdictions but considerably neglected at home. Here the plaintiff offered to prove that the insurance agent had written answers in the application blank at variance with the answers given him by the assured. There was the usual provision in the policy limiting the powers of the agent. The court set aside a verdict for the plaintiff. The vigorous language of the opinion is in as marked contrast to that just quoted from the Woodbury case, as is the substance of the decision itself. The court said: "The case before us is a case of life insurance. The power of the agent was in fact limited. He had no power to issue policies. The terms of his agency conferred no authority to waive conditions

or forfeitures or to agree to false and fraudulent answers to any of the interrogations, or to make any other contract to bind the company. Presumptively the insured and the plaintiff knew all this before paying the premium; for the printed policy which was in their hands for several days contained at the bottom this note: "The president and secretary of the company are alone authorized to make, alter or discharge contracts or to waive forfeitures'. The jury then were correctly told that there must be additional proof of authority given (the local agents) or the company will not be bound. We need not enlarge upon the evils necessarily resulting from holding insurance companies liable for such acts of their agents. The question is vital to the insurance interests of the country. The insured no less than the insurers are deeply interested in it. If this verdict is sustained it will tend to establish a principle fraught only with mischief. Every life insurance company in this country, and to some extent the fire insurance companies, will be at the mercy of their agents. door will be open to fraud, collusion and legal robbery, unprecedented in the history of our jurisprudence."

The court endeavored to distinguish the Woodbury case and others on the ground that they concerned fire policies, which the agents had power to write, and also on the ground that the limitations on the agents' authority in the earlier cases did not clearly appear. This may well explain the result in the Woodbury case, but it certainly does not explain the language there used, which seems wholly inconsistent with the whole tone of the Ryan decision.

In another decision shortly afterwards, Lewis v. Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Co., 44 Conn. 72, the same court, without citing the Ryan case, went even further, and decided that the acceptance of a late premium by the agent, even though a general custom to that effect was established, and even though there was evidence that the lateness was due to mistake in the notice sent by the company, did not constitute a waiver by the company of a provision in the premium receipt notifying policy holders that agents were not permitted to accept late premiums. The court said, "There is nothing that will bind the company to waive

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