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Slonim v. Globe Indemnity Co.

Decided: June 26, 1952.

FAY SLONIM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GLOBE INDEMNITY COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK, AND SAUL Z. STEINWEISS, DEFENDANTS



Speakman, J.c.c.

Speakman

[20 NJSuper Page 595] In her complaint the plaintiff alleges that on or about February 11, 1951, while a guest in the household of defendant Saul Z. Steinweiss, her Russian broadtail fur coat was stolen; that the value of said coat when stolen was $1,500; that on February 29, 1950 the defendant Globe Indemnity Company, Inc., had issued a policy of insurance to defendant Steinweiss of 257 Lehigh Avenue, Newark, New Jersey, under the terms of which it undertook to insure for three years against theft or burglary of jewelry and furs of said Steinweiss, or guests of his household,

to the extent of $1,500. It is further alleged that Steinweiss was asked to join with the plaintiff as a party plaintiff in this suit, and having refused to do so, he was joined as a party defendant. Said defendant has not filed an answering pleading.

The defendant insurer admits the issuance of the policy and that it was in effect when the loss took place. Defendant contends that coverage under the policy was not afforded to the plaintiff; that the property stolen was not that of the named insured; and that plaintiff is not a party to the policy contract nor was it made for her benefit.

At the oral argument it was admitted by defendant that the loss occurred under circumstances amounting to theft under the terms of its policy, and that at the time of the loss the coat had been in the master bedroom of the defendant Steinweiss' home, which room is in a part of the premises occupied exclusively by the insured's household.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant-insurer rely on the written contract of insurance and agree that the construction and effect of the contract is a matter of law. Both parties have moved for summary judgment under Rule 3:56.

The contract sued upon is a burglary policy conforming to the requirements of the State of New Jersey. On the face of the policy, under the title "Declarations," the name of the insured is given as Saul Z. Steinweiss. This statement standing alone does not indicate whether or not coverage is afforded by the policy to guests of the insured. It therefore becomes necessary to examine the provisions of the policy contract to determine its coverage.

Insuring Agreement I, Coverage A, theft from the premises, provides that insurer agrees:

"To pay for loss by theft from the premises * * * of such of the following classes of property * * *

(a) jewelery * * * furs."

This general coverage is not restricted to property of the insured except as set forth in the following independent

paragraph appearing at the end of Insuring Agreement I, Coverage A, ...


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