On appeal from the Supreme Court.
For the appellants, Jacob L. Newman and Saul J. Zucker (Lionel P. Kristeller, attorney and counsel).
For the respondent, Auguste Roche, Jr., and John J. McDonough (Harrison & Roche, attorneys of record).
The opinion of the court was delivered by
CAMPBELL, CHANCELLOR. This is an appeal from three judgments totaling $15,111 entered in the Supreme Court, Essex Circuit, after trial and verdict.
These judgments represented the damages to the plaintiff-respondent under a standard mortgagee clause for loss by fire of a building located in West Caldwell, New Jersey, on December 7th, 1933, upon which she held a mortgage.
On September 13th, 1933, the appellants issued and delivered their respective policies of insurance in the aggregate sum of $15,700 indemnifying Frank Tipping, as owner, for one year, against all direct loss or damage by fire. To each of these policies was attached a standard mortgagee clause providing that the loss, if any, should be paid to the respondent, as mortgagee, who is the aunt of the wife of Frank Tipping.
She has held a mortgage on the Tipping property since 1906; at first it was $7,000 then increased to $9,000 and in 1928 to $17,000, all at the time of the fire due and unpaid together with insurance premiums and taxes paid by her as mortgagee.
Prior to December 1st, 1928, Frank Tipping was the sole owner of the insured mortgaged premises. On that date, through his attorney he transferred the title to himself and wife as tenants by the entirety. On the same day the respondent, mortgagee, conveyed a small piece of land contiguous to the main, larger tract, to Frank Tipping and Amalie Tipping, his wife, as tenants by the entirety and immediately took back a mortgage upon the entire tract from Tipping and his wife. This small tract was later released from respondent's mortgage.
Respondent testified that she was not informed of the change of ownership of the property covered by the policies, at the time the change was made on December 1st, 1928.
These were not renewal policies but represented new business by the appellant companies. From December 1st, 1928, and from the date of the policies in question, up to and including the date of the fire the title to the insured property was in Frank Tipping and Amalie Tipping, his wife, as ...