G.R. No. 89741, 13 March 1991, 195 SCRA 139

FACTS:

Tan took from Sun Insurance a Php 300,000 policy to cover his electrical store in Iloilo city. Tan’s request for an indemnity in 1983 was repeatedly denied, firstly in 1984. He wrote for a reconsideration in the same year. This was rejected in 1985, prompting him to file a civil case in the same year. The insurance company filed a motion to dismiss due to prescription in 1987, but this was denied. The company went to the court of appeals to petition the same thing, but this was denied.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the rejection of the claim shall be deemed final only if it contains words to the effect that denial is final. (ie. the first letter in 1984)

HELD:

No. It was clear in the letter. In Ang v. Fulton Fire Insurance Co., the condition contained in an insurance policy that claims must be presented within one year after rejection is not merely a procedural requirement but an important matter essential to a prompt settlement of claims against insurance companies as it demands that insurance suits be brought by the insured while the evidence as to the origin and cause of destruction have not yet disappeared.

Therefore, there was a necessity of bringing suits against the Insurer within one year from the rejection of the claim. (1984) The contention of the respondents that the one-year prescriptive period does not start to run until the petition for reconsideration had been resolved by the insurer (1985), runs counter to the doctrine.

The provision in the contract was pursuant to Sec. 63, wherein a condition, stipulation or agreement in any policy of insurance, limiting the time for commencing an action there under to a period of less than one year from the time when the cause of action accrues, is void.

*Case digest by Maria Novie Taruc, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019