Furtado v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

60 Cal. App. 3d 17, 131 Cal. Rptr. 250 (1976)

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Furtado v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

California Court of Appeal
60 Cal. App. 3d 17, 131 Cal. Rptr. 250 (1976)

  • Written by Sheryl McGrath, JD

Facts

In February 1973, Furtado (plaintiff) obtained a life-insurance policy from Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (Metropolitan) (defendant). The policy was on the life of Furtado’s 18-year-old son. The monthly premium payments were due by the 12th of each month. The policy contained three provisions regarding nonpayment of premiums. The first provision, which had a heading in all capital letters, stated that if any premium payment was missed after the first premium, the policy would remain in force for a 31-day grace period. The second provision, which also had a heading in all capital letters, stated that if premium payments were missed after the 31-day grace period, the policy could stay effective for a certain amount of time as extended term insurance. The third provision, which had a heading in bold font, stated that the length of time the extended term insurance would be effective was shown in a table in the policy, and that the time would be measured from the due date of the premium in default. In turn, a policy table showed that the extended term for a policy with six months of paid premiums would be 60 days. For the policy on Furtado’s son, the premiums were paid for six months, from February through July 1973. The August 1973 payment was not made, nor were subsequent monthly payments. Furtado’s son died on October 26, 1973, which was 75 days after the due date for the missed August premium payment. Metropolitan declined to pay the policy proceeds, and Furtado sued Metropolitan for payment of the proceeds. After a bench trial, the court entered judgment in favor of Metropolitan. Furtado appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kaufman, J.)

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