Articles Posted in Credit Life and Disability Policies

Tarrant County insurance attorneys need to be able to interpret policies when discussing possible cases with clients. The Texarkana Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a 1967 case, styled Willeford v. Home Indemnity Company that is helpful to read. Here is some of the relevant information.

Lewis Willeford, as plaintiff, sued defendant insurance company for $10,000.00 on an insurance policy covering defendant’s deceased wife, Cordia Willeford, allegedly due as a death indemnity benefit under said policy. Plaintiff and defendant both filed motions for summary judgment and the trial court entered summary judgment for defendant and denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. However it appears that there was no dispute that plaintiff was entitled to recover $3,500.00 for the loss of sight of one eye sustained by Mrs. Willeford and the summary judgment awarded this amount to plaintiff. Plaintiff appealed, contending that he is entitled to judgment for $10,000.00, rather than $3,500.00.

Defendant issued its Family Automobile Policy to Lewis Willeford effective August 15, 1964, with endorsement 157 M. Under such endorsement, Willeford contends that he is entitled to the principal sum of $10,000.00 as a result of the death of his wife, Cordia Willeford, which occurred more than 90 days after the hereinafter referred to accident. The policy of insurance and endorsement provided in part as follows:

Aledo insurance attorneys need to know how the court interpret “total disability” in an insurance policy. The 1961, Texas Supreme Court case styled, Prudential Insurance Company of America v. Tate is a good case to read for understanding. Here is some of the relevant information.

This policy provided for certain benefits to be paid to Tate in the event he was disabled before reaching the age of 60 years. It was stipulated that Tate was under 60 years of age at the time he claimed he became totally and permanently disabled. Upon answer to special issues in favor of Tate by the trial jury, the trial court granted Tate’s motion for judgment on the verdict for the sum of $2,922, due under the terms of the policy, and $350.64 as 12% penalty provided by statute for failure of Prudential to pay upon demand by Tate.

This court held that the lower courts were in error in determining the amount due under the terms of the policy and reversed the judgments of both lower courts and remand the cause to the trial court.

Dallas life insurance attorneys will find this case valuable to know. It is a 2006, Texas Supreme Court case styled, Minnesota Life Insurance Company v. Vasquez. Here is the relevant information.

In November 1998, Minnesota Life issued a Mortgage Accidental Death Insurance policy to Joe and Elia Vasquez, promising to pay their home mortgage in the event either died due to an accident. In June 2000, Joe Vasquez became ill, was hospitalized, suffered a seizure, and lapsed into a coma. Twelve days later, he emerged from the coma and was transferred to a hospital room. Later that day, while no one else was present, he apparently fell, hit his head, and died.

On October 6, 2000, Elia Vasquez filed a claim with Minnesota Life requesting payment of the balance due on her mortgage (about $41,000) and submitted copies of the death certificate and autopsy report. After reviewing the documents, Minnesota Life sought advice from a medical consultant as to whether Mr. Vasquez’s death resulted from an accident “independently of all other causes,” as required by the policy. The consultant advised that he needed to see the relevant medical records.

Dallas life insurance lawyers need to know a basic rule of life insurance. This rule is the designated beneficiary must have an insurable interest in the life of the insured.

Beginning in an 1894 case, the Texas Supreme Court has said many times that it is well settled that a life insurance beneficiary must have an insurable interest in the insured’s life.

The basis for this rule is twofold:

Fort Worth life insurance attorneys and those in Dallas and Weatherford will have occasion where they see a credit life insurance policy. These are generally sold as “credit accident and health insurance.”

The Texas Insurance Code has specific sections dealing with this type of insurance. This type of insurance is generally available in several different situations. The most common are in credit cards, auto purchases, and home purchases.

Section 1153.003 tells us that “credit accident and health insurance: means insurance to provide indemnity for payments that become due on a specific credit transaction of a debtor when the debtor is disabled, as defined in the insurance policy. Credit life insurance means insurance on the life of the debtor in connection with a specific credit transaction.

Grand Prairie lawyers who handle insurance cases and attorneys in Dallas, Fort Worth, Benbrook, Burleson, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, De Soto, Mansfield, and other places in Texas need to know about this insurance case.

The case is from the Houston, 1st District, Court of Appeals. The style of the case is, Republic-Vanguard Life Insurance Company v. Beth Walters. Here is some of the relevant background.

Beth Walters sued on a life insurance policy covering her deceased husband. Republic denied the claim based on misrepresentations in the policy application. A jury decided in favor of Walters, finding that Republic knew facts that would have caused a prudent person to inquire about and discover material facts intentionally omitted by the decedent in his application for the policy.

Car buyers in Grand Prairie, Fort Worth, Arlington, Dallas, Grapevine, Keller, Saginaw, and other Tarrant County cities should pay attention to this case. It shows how complicated some of the “Credit Disability Insurance” policies can be.

The opinion in the case was issued by the Houston Court of Appeals, First District, in December of 2011. The style of the case is, Bernice Hudspeth v. Enterprise Life Insurance Company. Here is some background.

On July 5, 2003, Hudspeth purchased a car from a dealership. In conjunction with that purchase, she also bought a disability insurance policy to cover her car payments in the event of her disability. It was a “reducing” policy, meaning that the value of the insurance declined when each car payment was made reducing the balance owed on the vehicle. The back of the credit insurance contract contained the following provision defining disability in a section entitled “DISABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE”:

People in Weatherford, Aledo, Azle, Willow Park, Hudson Oaks, Springtown, Millsap, Brock, Mineral Wells, and other places in Parker County need to know when it is time to get an experienced Insurance Law Attorney.

The Houston Court of Appeals, First District, issued an opinion in 2009, that is worth reading. The style of the case is, Russell W. Harrison v. Charlie Thomas Ford, Ltd. D/B/A Charlie Thomas Ford. This is an appeal from a summary judgment granted in favor of Charlie Thomas Ford.

The background facts of the case is not real relevant here because the case was essentially resolved based on statutes dealing with the sale of credit and GAP insurance.

Credit policies sold in Grand Prairie, Arlington, Mansfield, Fort Worth, Dallas, or any other place in Texas are regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance and the Texas Insurance Code. This means that when one of the policies are denied when an application for benefits is made, that an experienced Insurance Law Attorney should be consulted so that a beneficiary’s rights are not wrongfully denied.

Here is a case that was strange.

This is a 2001, case that was decided by the Beaumont Court of Appeals. The style of the case is, Paula Guillory v. Service Life and Casualty Insurance Company. Here is some of the background on the case.

Car buyers in Grand Prairie, Arlington, Fort Worth, Mansfield, Dallas, Mesquite, Garland, and other places in North Texas should be interested in this case.

The case is from 1996, and was decided by the Austin Court of Appeals. The style of the case is, American National Insurance Company and Heart of Texas Dodge v. Rosemary Paul and Don Paul. Here are some of the facts.

On February 16, 1993, the Pauls purchased a van from Dodge. Before this date, Mr. Paul negotiated the purchase terms of the van with one of Dodge’s agents. Mr. Paul asked the sales agent whether the purchase price included credit disability insurance. The agent responded that he did not know. Beyond this inquiry there was never any discussion of whether credit disability insurance was to be included in the transaction.