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C & J Fertilizer, Inc. v. Allied Mutual Insurance Co.

Supreme Court of Iowa
227 N.W.2d 169 (1975)

C & J Fertilizer, Inc. v. Allied Mutual Insurance Co.


C & J Fertilizer, Inc. (CJ) (plaintiff) was insured by Allied Mutual Insurance Co. (Allied) (defendant) against burglary. The policy explicitly excluded burglaries where there were no visible marks on the exterior of the premises of forced entry. When CJ entered into the agreement, a representative of Allied visited the premises. At that time Allied’s representative informed CJ that there needed to be visible evidence of the burglary. However, he did not inform CJ that there needed to be visible marks as explained in the policy. CJ’s president reviewed the policy, including the coverage for burglary loss, but did not recall reading the fine print defining burglary. He did, however, testify that he knew of the burglary provision because it was similar to contracts he has on his farm. CJ’s premises were later burglarized. All exterior doors had been locked and secure. CJ discovered tire tracks in the driveway and visible evidence of the burglary on an interior door. There were no visible marks on the exterior of the premises. CJ suffered a loss of about $10,000. Allied refused to pay for CJ’s loss under the policy. CJ filed suit. The trial court entered judgment for Allied. CJ appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Reynoldson, J.)

Dissent (LeGrand, J.)

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