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SUN INSURANCE OFFICE, LTD., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and EMILIO TAN, respondents.

[G.R. No. 89741 Marc 1!, 1991 PARAS, ".#$


TOPIC# Po%&c' ( Co))*nc*)*n+ o, Ac+&on- S*c. .!
FACTS#
1. private respondent Emilio Tan took from petitioner Sun Insurance Office, Ltd a P300,000.00 /ro/*r+'
&n01ranc* /o%&c' to co2*r &0 &n+*r*0+ &n +* *%*c+r&ca% 01//%' 0+or* o, &0 3ro+*r housed in a
uildin! in Iloilo "it#
$. % da#s after issuance of polic# the uildin! &as urned includin! the insured store
3. Tan filed his claim for fire loss &ith petitioner, ut &as denied
a. Tan sou!ht for reconsideration ut the denial &as unchan!ed
%. No2*)3*r 45, 1986# Tan filed &ith the 'T" of Iloilo
a. Petitioner filed a (T) on the !round that the action had alread# prescried.
i. (T) &as denied
ii. (' for the (T) also denied
5. CA d*n&*d +* n1%%&,&ca+&on 0o17+ 3' /*+&+&on*r and *%d +a+ the court a quo ma# continue until its
final termination.
ISSUE# 89N +* ac+&on ,&%*d 3' Tan :&+ +* RTC ad a%r*ad' /r*0cr&3*d. ;ES
*+, the filin! of a motion for reconsideration interrupts the t&elve -1$. months prescriptive period to
contest the denial of the insurance claim / ,O
*+, the re0ection of the claim shall e deemed final onl# if it contains &ords to the effect that the denial
is final.
<ELD# CA d*c&0&on r*2*r0*d.
1. 1eneral 'ule2 a polic# or contract of insurance is to e construed lierall# in favor of the insured and
strictl# a!ainst the insurer compan#
a. =UT# con+rac+0 o, &n01ranc*, %&>* o+*r con+rac+0, ar* +o 3* con0+r1*d accord&n7 +o +*
0*n0* and )*an&n7 o, +* +*r)0 :&c +* /ar+&*0 +*)0*%2*0 a2* 10*d.
3. I, 01c +*r)0 ar* c%*ar and 1na)3&71o10, +*' )10+ 3* +a>*n and 1nd*r0+ood &n +*&r
/%a&n, ord&nar' and /o/1%ar 0*n0*
c. IN T<E CASE# Cond&+&on 47 o, +* /o%&c' 0+a+*0 :a0 2*r' c%*ar and ,r** ,ro) an' do13+ or
a)3&71&+'
$3. Action or suit clause If a c%a&) 3* )ad* and r*?*c+*d and an ac+&on or 01&+ 3* no+ co))*nc*d *&+*r &n +* In01ranc*
Co))&00&on or &n an' co1r+ o, co)/*+*n+ ?1r&0d&c+&on :&+&n +:*%2* @14A )on+0 ,ro) r*c*&/+ o, no+&c* o, 01c r*?*c+&on,
or in case of aritration takin! place as provided herein, :&+&n +:*%2* @14A )on+0 a,+*r d1* no+&c* o, +* a:ard )ad* 3' +*
ar3&+ra+or or ar3&+ra+or0 or 1)/&r*, then the claim shall for all purposes e d**)*d +o a2* 3**n a3andon*d and 0a%% no+
+*r*a,+*r 3* r*co2*ra3%* *r*1nd*r.
d. Tan admitted in his letter dated 4pril 3, 156% that he received a cop# of the letter of re0ection on
4pril $, 156%. Thus, +* 14-)on+ /r*0cr&/+&2* /*r&od 0+ar+*d +o r1n ,ro) +* 0a&d da+* o,
A/r&% 4, 1984, for such is the plain meanin! and intention of Section $3 of the insurance polic#.
e. Section $3 of the insurance polic# &as stipulated pursuant to Section 73 of the Insurance "ode,
&hich states that2
Sec. 73. 4 condition, stipulation or a!reement in an# polic# of insurance, limitin! the time for commencin! an action thereunder to
a period of less than one #ear from the time &hen the cause of action accrues, is void.
f. *8E, )OES T8E "49SE O: 4"TIO, 4""'9E;
i. Eagle Star Insurance Co. vs. Chia Yu# <ca10* o, ac+&on &n an &n01ranc* con+rac+
do*0 no+ accr1* 1n+&% +* &n01r*dB0 c%a&) &0 ,&na%%' r*?*c+*d 3' +* &n01r*r. This is
ecause efore such final re0ection there is no real necessit# for rin!in! suit.
ii. ACCFA vs. Alpha Insurance & Surety Co., Inc.: cause of action does not accrue
1n+&% +* /ar+' o3%&7a+*d @01r*+'A r*,10*0, *C/r*00%' or &)/%&*d%', +o co)/%' :&+ &+0
d1+' @&n +&0 ca0* +o /a' +* a)o1n+ o, +* 3ondA.
$. To allo& the filin! of a motion for reconsideration to suspend the runnin! of the prescriptive period of
t&elve months, a &hole ne& od# of rules on the matter should e promul!ated so as to avoid an#
conflict that ma# e rou!ht # it, such as2
o &hether the mere filin! of a plea for reconsideration of a denial is sufficient or must it e supported
# ar!uments+affidavits+material evidence=
o ho& man# petitions for reconsideration should e permitted;
a. Eagle Star case2 the phrase >final re0ection>, the same cannot e taken to mean the re0ection of
a petition for reconsideration as insisted # respondents. The >final re0ection> ein! referred to in
said case is the re0ection # the insurance compan#.