Biagtan v. Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd.

G.R. No. L-25579, 29 March 1972, 44 SCRA 58

FACTS:

Juan S. Biagtan was insured with defendant InsularLife Assurance Company under Policy No. 398075 for the sum of P5,000.00 and, under a supplementary contract denominated “Accidental Death Benefit Clause, for an additional sum of P5,000.00 if “the death of the Insured resulted directly from bodily injury effected solely through external and violent means sustained in an accident … and independently of all other causes.” The clause, however,expressly provided that it would not apply where death resulted from an injury”intentionally inflicted by another party.”
On the night of May 20, 1964, or during the first hours of the following day a band of robbers entered the house of the insured Juan S. Biagtan. On the night of May 20, 1964 or the first hours of May 21, 1964, while the said life policy and supplementary contract were in full force and effect, the house of insured Juan S. Biagtan was robbed by a band of robbers who were charged in and convicted by the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan for robbery with homicide; that in committing the robbery, the robbers, on reaching the staircase landing on the second floor, rushed towards the door of the second floor room, where they suddenly met a person near the door of oneof the rooms who turned out to be the insured Juan S. Biagtan who received thrusts from their sharp-pointed instruments, causing wounds on the body of said Juan S. Biagtan resulting in his death.
Plaintiffs, as beneficiaries of the insured, filed a claim under the policy. The insurance company paid the basic amount of P5,000.00 but refused to pay the additional sum of P5,000.00 under the accidental death benefit clause, on the ground that the insured’s death resulted from injuries intentionally inflicted by third parties and therefore was not covered. Plaintiffs filed suit to recover, and after due hearing the court a quo rendered judgment in their favor. Hence the present appeal by the insurer.

ISSUE:

Whether under the facts are stipulated and found by the trial court the wounds received by the insured at the hands of the robbers were inflicted intentionally.

RULING:

Yes. It should be noted that the exception in the accidental benefit clause invoked by the appellant does not speak of the purpose — whether homicidal or not — of a third party in causing the injuries, but only of the fact that such injuries have been “intentionally” inflicted — this obviously to distinguish them from injuries which, although received at the hands of a third party, are purely accidental. This construction is the basic idea expressed in the coverage of the clause itself, namely, that “the death of the insured resulted directly from bodily injury effected solely through external and violent means sustained in an accident … and independently of all other causes.”
But where a gang of robbers enter a house and coming face to face with the owner, even if unexpectedly, stab him repeatedly, it is contrary to all reason and logic to say that his injuries are not intentionally inflicted, regardless of whether they prove fatal or not. As it was, in the present case they did prove fatal, and the robbers have been accused and convicted of the crime of robbery with homicide.

*Case digest by Ana Azalea O. Adraincem, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, S.Y 2018-2019

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