Equitable and Rural entered into a reciprocal facultative reinsurance agreement, wherein they agreed to cede to each other, by way of facultative reinsurance on policies of insurance or reinsurance issued by their respective fire insurance departments on risks situated in the Philippines, subject to the stipulations of the agreement.
The stock insured and covered by said Policy No. 5880 by Equitable was burned, and the share of the loss assumed by defendant as per reinsurance agreement was computed at P2,024.87. Another stock was burned which insurance policy was issued by Equitable. Despite repeated demands by plaintiff, defendant refused and failed to pay the sum of P2,024.87. On
Equitable Insurance and Casualty Company, Inc. filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila a complaint (Civil Case No. 10282) against defendant Rural Insurance and Surety Company. Inc.
The defendant moved for the dismissal of the case contending that the complaint states no cause of action, the matter not having been referred to the decision of two arbitrators or umpire, which, it is claimed, is the condition precedent agreed upon in Article VIll of the Reinsurance Agreement entered into between the parties, to wit:
ARTICLE VIII In the event of any question arising as to the meaning of, or any way connected with or relating to this Agreement, whether before or after its termination, the parties shall endeavor to arrive at a satisfactory compromise by amicable settlement rather than by court action. The dispute shall be referred to the decision of two arbitrators, of whom one shall be appointed in writing by each of the parties within thirty (30) days after having been required so to do by the other party in writing, and in case of disagreement between the arbitrators, to the decision of the umpire to be appointed by them in writing before entering on the reference. Each party shall submit its case with all particulars within thirty days after their appointment. The seat of arbitration shall be in Manila, Philippines, and the expenses of arbitration shall be borne in equal proportion by the parties. The decision of the arbitrators or umpire, as the case may be, shall be final and binding on both the Company and the Reinsurer. The arbitrators and umpire shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence and by judicial formalities in making the award.
The court rendered its decision in favor of plaintiff, hence this appeal.
W/N the trial court erred in failing to rule that plaintiff-appellee has no causes against it, the matter not having been referred to the decision of two arbiti umpire, which, it is claimed, is the condition precedent agreed upon in Article Reinsurance Agreement
it would seem clear that the requirement of submitting for decision to two arbitrators or an umpire the matter of losses by fire or the liability of the parties thereto arises only if and when the same is disputed by one of the parties. It does not appear in the instant case that appellant did dispute appellee’s claims. Consequently, appellant may not invoke said provision in avoidance of its liability to appellee.
Consequently, appellant may not invoke said provision in avoidance of its liability to appellee. It is true that paragraph (Article VIll) of said Reciprocal Facultative Reinsurance Agreement required that “in the event of any question arising as to the meaning of, or any way connected with or relating to this Agreement, whether before or after its termination, the parties shall endeavor to arrive at a satisfactory compromise by amicable settlement rather than by court action’; and that the dispute should be referred to the decision of two arbitrators and umpire, as provided, therein. However, in this particular case, there is absolutely no dispute between the two parties, because in the stipulation of facts, the defendant has admitted that plaintiff has paid its liability to the insured as per its fire insurance policies specified in the two causes of action of the complaint. Defendant has, likewise, admitted its liability as reinsurer under the Reciprocal Facultative Reinsurance Agreement (Annex “A” to the complaint) to pay to the plaintiff its proportional shares, the amounts of which are not disputed. Indeed, according to the complaint as admitted by the defendant, statements of account as to the amounts of its share as reinsurer and, for all that appears, said defendant has never questioned the correctness of said amounts. It is, likewise, admitted by the defendant in the stipulation of facts, that because of its failure to pay said amounts, the plaintiff, on April 11, 1959, complained to the Assistant Insurance Commissioner, for official intervention, but said defendant has continued to Assistant Insurance Commissioner, for official intervention, but said defendant has continued to ignore plaintiff’s demands for reimbursement under the reinsurance policies.
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