Argente v. West Coast Life Insurance Co.- Misrepresentation

51 PHIL 725


>  A joint life insurance policy was issued to Bernardo Argente and his wife Vicenta upon payment of premium, by West Coast.

>  On Nov. 18, 1925, during the effectivity of the policy, Vicenta died of cerebral apoplexy.  Thereafter, Bernardo claimed payment but was refused.

>  It is admitted that in the Medical Examiner’s report, Vicenta, in response to the question asked by the medical examiner, her replies were as follows:

o    “How frequently do you use beer, wine, spirits and other intoxicants?” she answered “beer only in small quantities”.

o    “What physician have you consulted or been treated by within the last 5 years and for what illness or ailment?” she answered “none”

>  It is however, not disputed that in 1924, Vicenta was taken to a hospital for what was first diagnosed as alcoholism and later changed to manic-depressive psychosis and then again changed to pscyhonuerosis.


Whether or not on the basis of the misrepresentations of Vicenta, Bernardo is barred from recovery.



The court found that the representations made by Vicenta in his application for life insurance were false with respect to her state of health and that she knew and was aware that the representations so made by her were false.  In an action on a life insurance policy where the evidence conclusively shows that the answers to questions concerning diseases were untrue, the truth or falsity of the answer becomes the determining factor.

If the policy was procured by fraudulent misrepresentations, the contract of insurance apparently set forth therein was never legally existent.  It can be fairly assumed that had the true facts been disclosed by the insured, the insurance would never have been granted.