Life Insurance Payment Of Benefits

Here is a 1999 case where the named beneficiary of a life insurance policy alleges the insured was not competent to cancel the policy.  The opinion is from the United State Northern District of Texas.  It is styled, Benbow v. All American Life Insurance Company, et al.
All American Life Insurance Company and General American Life Insurance Company each insured Daniel Benbow under whole life insurance policies that provided coverage of $100,000.  Approximately seven months before Daniel’s death, letters were sent to both carriers requesting cancellation of the policies and further requesting that the carriers remit any accumulated cash value of the policies.  Both carriers honored the request and issued checks to Daniel for the current value of the policies.  After Daniel’s death, Diana Benbow contacted the carriers and notified them that Daniel suffered from a bipolar disorder, and she requested that the carriers deem the cancellation of the policies to be invalid.  The carriers contended that the policies had been surrendered, and they refused to pay the claim for benefits.  Diana then sued both carriers in state court alleging breach of contract and violations of the Texas Insurance Code.  Thereafter the carriers moved for summary judgment on all causes of action.
The motions for summary judgment were granted.  With regard to the insurance code violations, the carriers timely acknowledged the claim for benefits.
With regard to the breach of contract claim, the carriers introduced an affidavit of Linda Collins, a document examiner, in support of their motions.  Collins testifies in the affidavit that based on her examination of the cancellation request letters, it is her opinion that Diane was the author of Daniel’s signature on the letters.  Diana has not offered any competent controverting evidence.  Diana’s testimony that she does not recall signing the letters does not create a fact issue.  Since the evidence shows that Diana signed the letters requesting cancellation of the policies, she is now estopped from asserting that the surrenders should be voided.  She has also waived any right to make any claim under the policies.
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