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Holland v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.

Decided: April 1, 1957.

NORMA R. HOLLAND, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE LINCOLN NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE CO., A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF INDIANA, DEFENDANT



Civil action. On motion to strike defense.

Dzick, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).

Dzick

In May 1953 the defendant, under the terms of Group Life Insurance Policy No. GL203 and Group Non-Occupational Accidental Death Policy No. G AD203, issued certificates of insurance No. 32159 on the life of one William A. Heggan. The certificate sets forth the pertinent provisions of both policies and names the plaintiff as beneficiary.

The insured died on or about September 7, 1953, and the plaintiff made claim under both policies, claiming that

the insured's death was the result of accidental drowning. The defendant paid the amount due the plaintiff under the terms of the life policy, but refused, and has continued to refuse, to make payment under the non-occupational accidental death policy.

In April 1956 the plaintiff commenced this action, seeking the accidental death benefits.

This is the adjourned return day of a motion to strike the affirmative defense as set forth in the answer of the defendant, to wit, that the statute of limitation should be stricken as a defense, and also in effect the renewal of a motion for a summary judgment in favor of the defendant, dismissing the plaintiff's cause of action on the ground that it is barred by the statute of limitations.

It is encumbent upon the court to ascertain first, whether the policies here in question are two group policies or whether they are two individual policies, and secondly, whether the policies here in question are supplemental one upon the other.

I.

Group insurance, which at the present time is quite generally written, is a form of insurance whereby the individual lives of a group of persons, usually employees of a business concern, are, in consideration of a flat periodical premium based upon an average age, and paid either by the employer in whole or partially by both the employer and employee, insured each in a definite sum so long as he or she remains in such employment and the premiums are paid. Couch, Encyclopedia of Law of Insurance, par. 20, p. 44.

Here we have two policies of insurance, that is, two group policies of insurance issued by the defendant, to wit GL 203 which is a group life insurance policy, and G AD203 which is a group non-occupational accidental death policy, both issued to the decedent, and evidenced by a certificate of insurance No. 32159. R.S. 17:38-1 to 17:38-13, inclusive, deal with individual ...


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