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In the States where no standard form is prescribed and other than those above named, the New York standard form is in general use.
While there is no set or prescribed form of giving notice of a loss, it should be given in writing, stating the occurrence of the fire, the date, and that claim is made for loss under policy No. (inserting its number where possible to do so); it should be addressed to and given to the company at its home office, or at office of its general agent, who is authorized to receive and act upon it in the territory where fire occurs; at same time a duplicate notice should be given to the local agent who issued the policr; if the mail is used for the purpose, the letter or notice should be registered. The notice, when required to be in writing, must be so given if not waived.
Patrick v. Farmers’ Ins. Co., 43 N. H. 621. And see Rules 9 and 10.
RULE 2. Notice Required when Damage by Lightning or Cyclone.
Rule 1 requiring notice of loss may not be construed to require immediate notice in case of damage by lightning or cyclone when liability therefor assumed, unless fire occurs.
Epiphany Church v. German Ins. Co., 16 S. D. 17, 91 N. W. Rep. 332.
Notice Required by a Statute. A notice of loss given as prescribed by a statute is sufficient, though not in compliance with terms of the policy.
Westenhaver v. German-American Ins. Co., 113 Iowa, 726, 84 N. W. Rep. 717.
RULE 4. Meaning of Word “ Immediate” - As a Question of Fact or
Law. The word " immediate” does not mean ' instantly;" immediate notice is notice within a reasonable time; and this is determinable from the situation
of the insured and the circumstances by which he was surrounded; due diligence, under the circumstances, without unnecessary and unreasonable delay, is what is required; it is ordinarily a question of fact;- but where the circumstances are not in dispute, it may be a question of law.3
1. Solomon v. Continental Ins. Co., 160 N. Y. 595, 55 N. E. Rep. 279, affg. 28 App. Div. 213; Partridge v. Milwaukee Mechanics’ Ins. Co., 13 App. Div. 519, affd. without opinion, 162 N. Y. 597; Phenix Ins. Co. v. Rogers, 11 Ind. App. 72, 38 N. E. Rep. 865; Insurance Co. of N. A. v. Brim, 111 Ind. 281, 12 N. E. Rep. 315; Carey v. Farmers' Ins. Co., 27 Oreg. 146, 40 Pac. Rep. 91; Cashan v. Northwestern Nat. Ins. Co., 5 Biss. 476 (U. S. Cir.); Continental Ins. Co. v. Lippold, 3 Neb. 391; Rokes v. Amazon Ins. Co., 51 Md. 512; Niagara Ins. Co. v. Scammon, 100 Ill. 644; Knickerbocker Ins. Co. v. McGinnis, 87 Ill. 70; Knickerbocker Ins. Co. v. Gould, 80 Ill. 388; Lockwood v. Middlesex Ins. Co., 47 Conn. 553; Donahue v. Windsor Mut. Ins. Co., 56 Vt. 374; Woody v. Old Dominion Ins. Co., 31 Gratt. (Va.) 362; Fletcher v. German-American Ins. Co., 79 Minn. 337, 82 N. W. Rep. 647; Pennypacker v. Capitol Ins. Co., 80 Iowa, 56; Burlington Ins. Co. v. Lowery, 61 Ark. 108; Capitol Ins. Co. v. Wallace, 50 Kan. 453.
2. O'Brien v. Phænix Ins. Co., 76 N. Y. 459; Edwards v. Baltimore Ins. Co., 3 Gill (Md.), 176; Griffey v. New York Central Ins. Co., 100 N. Y. 417. And see preceding cases under note 1.
3. Bennett v. Lycoming Ins. Co., 67 N. Y. 274; Donahue v. Windsor Ins. Co., 56 Vt. 374; Insurance Co. of N. A. v. Brim, 111 Ind. 281, 12 N. E. Rep. 315.
Proof of Loss as Notice of Loss.
A statement or proofs of loss may be effective as a notice of loss, if furnished in time, so as to be “ immediate,” as construed under preceding rules; if furnished late so as to be objectionable as a notice of loss, the objection should be promptly and specifically made; otherwise it may be waived either by failure to make the specific objection, or that together with action of the company in requiring amendments to the proofs or in putting assured to expense in complying with other conditions in the policy.
Weed v. Hamburg-Bremen Ins. Co., 133 N. Y. 395, 407, 31 N. E. Rep. 231. And see Bear v. Atlanta Home Ins. Co., 34 Misc. 613, 70 N. Y. Supp. 581; Purcell v. St. Paul F. & M. Ins. Co., 5 N. D. 100, 64 N. W. Rep. 943; Ermentraut v. Girard Ins. Co., 63 Minn, 305, 65 N. W. Rep. 635; Hartford Ins. Co. v. Redding, Fla. , 37 So. Rep. 62. See Statement or Proof of Loss.
Notice, by Whom Given. While the notice should be signed and given by the assured when possible in prompt compliance with the condition, it may be signed and given by a third party as agent;' by any person interested in the insurance;' by an assignee;or by the legal representatives of the insured ;4 and the local agent of the company may be made the agent of the assured in sending the notice."
1. O'Brien v. Phonix Ins. Co., 76 N. Y. 459; Stimpson v. Monmouth Ins. Co., 47 Me. 379.
2. Watertown Ins. Co. v. Grover & Baker Machine Co., 41 Mich. 131; Farmers' Ins. Co. v. Graybill, 74 Pa. St. 17.
3. Cornell v. Le Roy, 9 Wend. 163; Watertown Ins. Co. v. Grover & Baker Machine Co., supra.
4. Matthews v. American Central Ins. Co., 154 N. Y. 449, 48 N. E. Rep. 751, affg. 9 App. Div. 339.
5. Loeb v. American Central Ins. Co., 99 Mo. 50; Stimpson v. Monmouth Ins. Co., supra; West Branch Ins. Co. v. Helfenstein, 40 Pa. St. 289.
Notice by Mail. Sending notice by mail only raises a presumption of its receipt or service, which may be denied. Deposit in mail is not notice to the insurance company. unless received.2
1. Susquehanna Ins. Co.". Tunkhannock Toy Co., 97 Pa. St. 424; Plath 1. Minnesota Ins. Cn., 23 Minn. 479; Munson ?". German-American Ins. Co., W. Va.
47 S. E. Rep. 160. 2. Central City Ins. Co. v. Oates, 86 Ala. 558. And see Peabody v. Satterlee, 166 N. Y. 174, 59 N. E. Rep. 818; Best v. German Ins. Co., 68 Mo. App. 598.
Notice, When Not Immediate.
Where there is no sufficient excuse or reasonable explanation of delay in giving notice of a loss, such notice cannot be regarded as immediate when given eleven days after the fire; or sixteena days; eighteen? days; nineteen* days; twenty days; forty-eight® days; sixty? days; the word “immediate,” under such circumstances, is more strictly construed and applied.
1. Trask v. State Ins. Co., 29 Pa. St. 198.
4. Weed v. Hamburg-Bremen Ins. Co., 133 N. Y. 394, 407, 31 N. E. Rep. 231.
5. Manchester Ins. Co. v. Guerin Rap. Jud. Quebec, 5 B. R. 434.
6. Brown v. London Assurance Co., 40 Hun, 101.
7. Ermentraut v. Girard Ins. Co., 63 Minn. 305, 65 N. W. Rep. 635. And see Lake Geneva Ice Co. v. Selvage, 36 Misc. 212, 73 N. Y. Supp. 193. And a delay of six days has been held not to be "immediate." Railway Ins. Co. v. Burwell, 44 Ind. 460.
Waiver of Notice.
When notice is not given in proper or sufficient time, failure of the company to object on that ground; or its silence, cannot be construed as a waiver;' but when the company acts on such notice in negotiating with the insured there may be a waiver.2
1. Patrick v. Farmers' Ins. Co., 43 N. H. 621; Edwards v. Baltimore Ins. Co., 3 Gill (Md.), 176; St. Louis Ins. Co. 1. Kyle, 11 Mo. 278; Bennett v. Lycoming Ins. Co., 67 N. Y. 274; Donahue v. Windsor Ins. Co., 56 Vt. 374.
2. Lycoming Ins. Co. v. Schuffler, 12 Pa. St. 188; Weed v. Hamburg-Bremen Ins. Co., 133 N. Y. 394, 31 N. E. Rep. 231. And see cases under Rule 10, note 2.
Authority of Local Agent – Waiver. A local agent authorized to fill up, countersign, and issue policies, in absence of evidence clothing him with apparent authority beyond such actual authority, does not bind the company in receipt, acceptance, or waiver of a notice of loss; if, however, such a notice, whether originally verbal or written, is communicated or transmitted to the company by such agent, and the company acts upon it by sending an adjuster or special agent, it operates either as a waiver of written notice, or as sufficient notice;ż notice in writing is waived by acting on a verbal notice.3
1. Ermentraut v. Girard Ins. Co., 63 Minn. 305, 65 N. W. Rep. 635; Edwards v. Insurance Co., 75 Pa. St. 378; Bush v. Westchester Ins. Co., 63 N. Y. 531; Hicks v. British America Ins. Co., 162 N. Y. 284, 294; Lohms v. Insurance Co. of N. A., 121 Mass. 439. And see “ Statement or Proof of Loss,” Rule 35.
2. Welsh v. London Assurance Co., 151 Pa. St. 607, 25 Atl. Rep. 142; Davis v. Grand Rapids Ins. Co., 15 Misc. 263, 36 N. Y. Supp. 792, affd. without opinion, 157 N. Y. 685; Partridge v. Milwaukee Mechanics' Ins. Co., 13 App. Div. 519, affd. without opinion, 162 N. Y. 597; Phænix Ins. Co. v. Hart, 112 Ga. 765, 38 S. E. Rep. 67; Coffman v. Niagara Ins. Co., 57 Mo. App. 647; Loeb v. American Central Ins. Co., 99 Mo. 50, 12 S. W. Rep. 374; Germania Ins. Co. v. Stewart. 13 Ind. Anp. 627, 640, 42 N. E. Rep. 286, 290; Robinson v. Ætna Ins. Co.,