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SUNLIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA vs. The Hon.

COURT OF APPEALS and Spouses ROLANDO and


BERNARDA BACANI
G.R. No. 105135 June 22, 1995
Principle found in the case: Element of concealment non disclosure of material fact that could mislead the insurer and
affect in forming his estimates of the proposed insurance policy or in making inquiries.
Facts:
Robert John B. Bacani procured a life insurance contract for himself from Sunlife. He was issued a Policy valued at
P100,000.00, with double indemnity in case of accidental death. The designated beneficiary was his mother, Bernarda
Bacani.
In his application for insurance Robert was asked if within 5 years he (a) consulted any doctor or other health practitioner
(b) subjected to different test i.e. blood, x-rays etc. (c) attended or been admitted to any hospital or other medical facility.
Robert answered yes in letter a. but limited his answer to a consultation with a certain Dr. Reinaldo D. Raymundo of the
Chinese General Hospital on February 1986, for cough and flu complications.
Sunlife discovered that two weeks prior to Roberts application for insurance, that Robert was examined and confined at
the Lung Center of the Philippines, where he was diagnosed for renal failure. During his confinement, the deceased was
subjected to urinalysis, ultra-sonography and hematology tests.
Robert died in a plane crash. Bernarda filed a claim with sunlife, seeking the benefits of the insurance policy taken by her
son. Sunlife conducted an investigation and its findings prompted it to reject the claim.
Sunlife informed Bernarda that Robert did not disclose material facts relevant to the issuance of the policy, thus
rendering the contract of insurance voidable. A check representing the total premiums paid in the amount of P10,172.00
was attached to said letter.
Bernarda subsequently filed an action for specific performance against Sunlife. Sunlife filed a counter claim and a list of
exhibits consisting of medical records furnished by the Lung Center of the Philippines. Bernarda filed a "Proposed
Stipulation with Prayer for Summary Judgment" where they manifested that they "have no evidence to refute the
documentary evidence of concealment/misrepresentation by the decedent of his health condition. Sunlife also filed a
motion for summary judgement.
Trial court ruled in favor of Bernarda and concluded that although there was concealment and misrepresentation the
facts concealed by the insured were made in good faith and under a belief that they need not be disclosed. Moreover, it
held that the health history of the insured was immaterial since the insurance policy was "non-medical". Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision and stated that the cause of death was unrelated to the facts concealed by the insured.
Issue: WON there was concealment and can goodfaith be used as a defense.
Ruling: Yes there was concealment and No the defense of goodfaith is not applicable.
Rationale:
Section 26 of The Insurance Code requires a party to a contract of insurance to communicate to the other, in good faith,
all facts within his knowledge which are material to the contract and as to which he makes no warranty, and which
the other has no means of ascertaining and thus it provides that A neglect to communicate that which a party knows
and ought to communicate, is called concealment.
Materiality is to be determined not by the event, but solely by the probable and reasonable influence of the facts
upon the party to whom communication is due, in forming his estimate of the disadvantages of the proposed
contract or in making his inquiries
The information which the insured failed to disclose were material and relevant to the approval and issuance of
the insurance policy. The matters concealed would have definitely affected Sunlife's action on Roberts
application, either by approving it with the corresponding adjustment for a higher premium or rejecting the same.

Moreover, a disclosure may have warranted a medical examination of the insured by Sunlife in order for it to reasonably
assess the risk involved in accepting the application.
It is well settled that the insured need not die of the disease he had failed to disclose to the insurer. It is
sufficient that his non-disclosure misled the insurer in forming his estimates of the risks of the proposed
insurance policy or in making inquiries.
Thus, "good faith" is no defense in concealment. The insured's failure to disclose the fact that he was hospitalized for
two weeks prior to filing his application for insurance, raises grave doubts about his bonafides. It appears that such
concealment was deliberate on his part.
PRUDENTIAL GUARANTEE and ASSURANCE INC., vs. TRANS-ASIA SHIPPING LINES, INC
G.R. No. 151890
June 20, 2006
Principle found in the case: a warranty is a statement or promise set forth in the policy, or by reference incorporated
therein, the untruth or non-fulfillment of which in any respect, and without reference to whether the insurer was
in fact prejudiced by such untruth or non-fulfillment, renders the policy voidable by the insurer. However it must
be first duly proven by the one who alleges that there was a breach of warranty.
Facts:
TRANS-ASIA is the owner of the vessel M/V Asia Korea. In consideration of payment of premiums, PRUDENTIAL insured
M/V Asia Korea for loss/damage of the hull and machinery arising from perils, inter alia, of fire and explosion for the sum
of P40 Million, beginning from the period of July 1, 1993 up to July 1, 1994.
On October 25, 1993, while the policy was in force, a fire broke out while [M/V Asia Korea was] undergoing repairs at the
port of Cebu. On October 26, 1993 TRANS-ASIA filed its notice of claim for damage sustained by the vessel evidenced by a
letter/formal claim. TRANS-ASIA reserved its right to subsequently notify PRUDENTIAL as to the full amount of the claim
upon final survey and determination by average adjuster Richard Hogg International (Phil.) of the damage sustained by
reason of fire.
TRANS-ASIA executed a document denominated "Loan and Trust receipt", a portion of which states that Received from
Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc., the sum of PESOS THREE MILLION ONLY (P3,000,000.00) as a loan without
interest under Policy No. MH 93/1353 [sic], repayable only in the event and to the extent that any net recovery is made by
Trans-Asia Shipping Corporation, from any person or persons, corporation or corporations, or other parties, on account of
loss by any casualty for which they may be liable occasioned by the 25 October 1993: Fire on Board."
PRUDENTIAL later on denied Trans-Asias claim in stated in a letter that "After a careful review and evaluation of your
claim arising from the above-captioned incident, it has been ascertained that you are in breach of policy conditions,
among them "WARRANTED VESSEL CLASSED AND CLASS MAINTAINED". Accordingly, we regret to advise that your
claim is not compensable and hereby DENIED." and asked for the return of the 3,000,000.
TRANS-ASIA filed a Complaint for Sum of Money against PRUDENTIAL with the RTC of Cebu City, wherein TRANS-ASIA
sought the amount of P8,395,072.26 from PRUDENTIAL, alleging that the same represents the balance of the indemnity
due upon the insurance policy in the total amount of P11,395,072.26. TRANS-ASIA similarly sought interest at 42% per
annum citing Section 243 of Presidential Decreee No. 1460, otherwise known as the "Insurance Code," as amended.
PRUDENTIAL denied the material allegations of the Complaint and interposed the defense that TRANS-ASIA breached
insurance policy conditions, in particular: PRUDENTIAL posits that TRANS-ASIA violated an express and material
warranty in the subject insurance contract, i.e., Marine Insurance Policy No. MH93/1363, specifically Warranty Clause
No. 5 thereof, which stipulates that the insured vessel, "M/V ASIA KOREA" is required to be CLASSED AND CLASS
MAINTAINED. According to PRUDENTIAL, on 25 October 1993, or at the time of the occurrence of the fire, "M/V ASIA
KOREA" was in violation of the warranty as it was not CLASSED AND CLASS MAINTAINED. PRUDENTIAL submits that
Warranty Clause No. 5 was a condition precedent to the recovery of TRANS-ASIA under the policy, the violation of which
entitled PRUDENTIAL to rescind the contract under Sec. 74 of the Insurance Code. By way of a counterclaim,
PRUDENTIAL sought a refund of P3,000,000.00, which it allegedly advanced to TRANS-ASIA by way of a loan without
interest and without prejudice to the final evaluation of the claim, including the amounts of P500,000.00, for survey fees
and P200,000.00, representing attorneys fees.

Trial court ruled in favor of Prudential. It ruled that a determination of the parties liabilities hinged on whether TRANSASIA violated and breached the policy conditions on WARRANTED VESSEL CLASSED AND CLASS MAINTAINED. It
interpreted the provision to mean that TRANS-ASIA is required to maintain the vessel at a certain class at all times
pertinent during the life of the policy. According to the court a quo, TRANS-ASIA failed to prove compliance of the terms of
the warranty, the violation thereof entitled PRUDENTIAL to rescind the contract.
The court of appeals reversed the decision. It ruled that PRUDENTIAL, as the party asserting the non-compensability of
the loss had the burden of proof to show that TRANS-ASIA breached the warranty, which burden it failed to discharge.
PRUDENTIAL cannot rely on the lack of certification to the effect that TRANS-ASIA was CLASSED AND CLASS
MAINTAINED as its sole basis for reaching the conclusion that the warranty was breached. It opined that the lack of a
certification does not necessarily mean that the warranty was breached by TRANS-ASIA. Instead, it considered
PRUDENTIALs admission that at the time the insurance contract was entered into between the parties, the vessel was
properly classed by Bureau Veritas, a classification society recognized by the industry. It similarly gave weight to the fact
that it was the responsibility of Richards Hogg International (Phils.) Inc., the average adjuster hired by PRUDENTIAL, to
secure a copy of such certification to support its conclusion that mere absence of a certification does not warrant denial of
TRANS-ASIAs claim under the insurance policy.
Issue: WON Trans-Asia breached the warranty stated in the insurance policy, thus absolving Prudential from paying
Trans-Asia.
Ruling: No.
Rationale:
As found by the Court of Appeals and as supported by the records, Bureau Veritas is a classification society recognized in
the marine industry. As it is undisputed that TRANS-ASIA was properly classed at the time the contract of insurance was
entered into, thus, it becomes incumbent upon PRUDENTIAL to show evidence that the status of TRANS-ASIA as
being properly CLASSED by Bureau Veritas had shifted in violation of the warranty. Unfortunately, PRUDENTIAL
failed to support the allegation.
The lack of a certification in PRUDENTIALs records to the effect that TRANS-ASIAs "M/V Asia Korea" was CLASSED AND
CLASS MAINTAINED at the time of the occurrence of the fire cannot be tantamount to the conclusion that TRANS-ASIA in
fact breached the warranty contained in the policy.
It was likewise the responsibility of the average adjuster, Richards Hogg International (Phils.), Inc., to secure a copy of
such certification, and the alleged breach of TRANS-ASIA cannot be gleaned from the average adjusters survey
report, or adjustment of particular average per "M/V Asia Korea" of the 25 October 1993 fire on board.
The Supreme Court is not unmindful of the clear language of Sec. 74 of the Insurance Code which provides that, "the
violation of a material warranty, or other material provision of a policy on the part of either party thereto,
entitles the other to rescind." It is generally accepted that "a warranty is a statement or promise set forth in the
policy, or by reference incorporated therein, the untruth or non-fulfillment of which in any respect, and without
reference to whether the insurer was in fact prejudiced by such untruth or non-fulfillment, renders the policy
voidable by the insurer."
However, it is similarly indubitable that for the breach of a warranty to avoid a policy, the same must be duly shown
by the party alleging the same. We cannot sustain an allegation that is unfounded. Consequently, PRUDENTIAL, not
having shown that TRANS-ASIA breached the warranty condition, CLASSED AND CLASS MAINTAINED, it remains
that TRANS-ASIA must be allowed to recover its rightful claims on the policy.
Assuming arguendo that TRANS-ASIA violated the policy condition on WARRANTED VESSEL CLASSED AND CLASS
MAINTAINED, PRUDENTIAL made a valid waiver of the same.
PRUDENTIAL can be deemed to have made a valid waiver of TRANS-ASIAs breach of warranty as alleged. Because after
the loss, Prudential renewed the insurance policy of Trans-Asia for two (2) consecutive years, from noon of 01 July 1994 to
noon of 01 July 1995, and then again until noon of 01 July 1996. This renewal is deemed a waiver of any breach of
warranty.

PRUDENTIAL, in renewing TRANS-ASIAs insurance policy for two consecutive years after the loss covered by Policy No.
MH93/1363, was considered to have waived TRANS-ASIAs breach of the subject warranty, if any. Breach of a warranty or
of a condition renders the contract defeasible at the option of the insurer; but if he so elects, he may waive his privilege
and power to rescind by the mere expression of an intention so to do. In that event his liability under the policy continues
as before. There can be no clearer intention of the waiver of the alleged breach than the renewal of the policy insurance
granted by PRUDENTIAL to TRANS-ASIA in MH94/1595 and MH95/1788, issued in the years 1994 and 1995,
respectively.

AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY, vs. ANTONIO CHUA


G.R. No. 130421 June 28, 1999
Principle found in the case: Exception to the general rule mentioned in sec. 77 is sec. 78 and 306 which establishes a
legal fiction of payment at the time an agent duly authorized by the company receives the payment of the
premium and later on the company issued a receipt for the said payment although it was issued after the
occurrence of the event subject of the insurance.
Facts:
American Home is a domestic corporation engaged in the insurance business. Sometime in 1990, Chua obtained from
American Home a fire insurance covering the stock-in-trade of his business, Moonlight Enterprises, located at Valencia,
Bukidnon. The insurance was due to expire on 25 March 1990.
On 5 April 1990 respondent issued PCIBank Check No. 352123 in the amount of P2,983.50 to American Home's agent,
James Uy, as payment for the renewal of the policy. In turn, James delivered Renewal Certificate No. 00099047 to
respondent. The check was drawn against a Manila bank and deposited in petitioner's bank account in Cagayan de Oro
City. The corresponding official receipt was issued on 10 April.
Subsequently, a new insurance policy, Policy No. 206-4234498-7, was issued, whereby American Home undertook to
indemnify Chuat for any damage or loss arising from fire up to P200,000 for the period 25 March 1990 to 25 March 1991.
On 6 April 1990 Moonlight Enterprises was completely razed by fire. Total loss was estimated between P4,000,000 and
P5,000,000. Chua filed an insurance claim with American Home and four other co-insurers, namely, Pioneer Insurance
and Surety Corporation, Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc., Filipino Merchants Insurance Co. and Domestic
Insurance Company of the Philippines.
American Home refused to honor the claim notwithstanding several demands by Chua, thus, Chua filed an action against
American Home before the trial court.

American Home claimed there was no existing insurance contract when the fire occurred since Chua did not pay the
premium. It also alleged that even assuming there was a contract, Chua violated several conditions of the policy,
particularly: (1) his submission of fraudulent income tax return and financial statements; (2) his failure to establish the
actual loss, which petitioner assessed at P70,000; and (3) his failure to notify to petitioner of any insurance already
effected to cover the insured goods. These violations, petitioner insisted, justified the denial of the claim.
The trial court ruled in favor of respondent. It found that respondent paid by way of check a day before the fire occurred.
The check, which was deposited in petitioner's bank account, was even acknowledged in the renewal certificate issued by
petitioner's agent. It gave credence to the BIR certification that respondent paid the corresponding taxes due for the
questioned years.
Finally, it noted that American Home's investigation of Chua's claim was done in collaboration with the representatives of
other insurance companies who found no irregularity therein. In fact, Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation and
Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. promptly paid the claims filed by Chua. C.A. affirmed the decision.
American Home reiterates its stand that there was no existing insurance contract between the parties. It invokes Section
77 of the Insurance Code, which provides:
An insurer is entitled to payment of the premium as soon as the thing insured is exposed to the peril insured
against. Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, no policy or contract of insurance issued by an
insurance company is valid and binding unless and until the premium thereof has been paid, except in the case of
life or an industrial life policy whenever the grace period provision applies
Issue: WON there was a valid payment of premium, considering that respondent's check was cashed after the occurrence
of the fire.
Ruling: Yes.
Rationale:
The general rule in insurance laws is that unless the premium is paid the insurance policy is not valid and
binding. The only exceptions are life and industrial life insurance. Whether payment was indeed made is a question of
fact which is best determined by the trial court. The trial court found, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, that there was
a valid check payment by respondent to petitioner. Well-settled is the rule that the factual findings and conclusions of the
trial court and the Court of Appeals are entitled to great weight and respect, and will not be disturbed on appeal in the
absence of any clear showing that the trial court overlooked certain facts or circumstances which would substantially
affect the disposition of the case. We see no reason to depart from this ruling.
According to the trial court the renewal certificate issued to respondent contained the acknowledgment that premium had
been paid. It is not disputed that the check drawn by Chua in favor of American Home and delivered to its agent
was honored when presented and American Home forthwith issued its official receipt to respondent on 10 April
1990.
Section 306 of the Insurance Code provides that any insurance company which delivers a policy or contract of
insurance to an insurance agent or insurance broker shall be deemed to have authorized such agent or broker to
receive on its behalf payment of any premium which is due on such policy or contract of insurance at the time of
its issuance or delivery or which becomes due thereon. In the instant case, the best evidence of such authority is
the fact that petitioner accepted the check and issued the official receipt for the payment. It is, as well, bound by
its agent's acknowledgment of receipt of payment.
Sec. 78 of the Insurance Code explicitly provides:
An acknowledgment in a policy or contract of insurance of the receipt of premium is conclusive evidence of its payment, so
far as to make the policy binding, notwithstanding any stipulation therein that it shall not be binding until the premium is
actually paid.
This Section establishes a legal fiction of payment and should be interpreted as an exception to Section 77.

PRUDENTIAL GUARANTEE and ASSURANCE INC., vs. TRANS-ASIA SHIPPING LINES, INC
G.R. No. 151890
June 20, 2006
Principle found in the case: Section 343 and 344 applies when there is unreasonable delay or refusal in the payment of
the insurance claims which could force the insured to file a case thus entitling him of attorneys fees.
Facts:

TRANS-ASIA is the owner of the vessel M/V Asia Korea. In consideration of payment of premiums, PRUDENTIAL insured
M/V Asia Korea for loss/damage of the hull and machinery arising from perils, inter alia, of fire and explosion for the sum
of P40 Million, beginning from the period of July 1, 1993 up to July 1, 1994.
On October 25, 1993, while the policy was in force, a fire broke out while [M/V Asia Korea was] undergoing repairs at the
port of Cebu. On October 26, 1993 TRANS-ASIA filed its notice of claim for damage sustained by the vessel evidenced by a
letter/formal claim. TRANS-ASIA reserved its right to subsequently notify PRUDENTIAL as to the full amount of the claim
upon final survey and determination by average adjuster Richard Hogg International (Phil.) of the damage sustained by
reason of fire.
TRANS-ASIA executed a document denominated "Loan and Trust receipt", a portion of which states that Received from
Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc., the sum of PESOS THREE MILLION ONLY (P3,000,000.00) as a loan without
interest under Policy No. MH 93/1353 [sic], repayable only in the event and to the extent that any net recovery is made by
Trans-Asia Shipping Corporation, from any person or persons, corporation or corporations, or other parties, on account of
loss by any casualty for which they may be liable occasioned by the 25 October 1993: Fire on Board."
PRUDENTIAL later on denied Trans-Asias claim in stated in a letter that "After a careful review and evaluation of your
claim arising from the above-captioned incident, it has been ascertained that you are in breach of policy conditions,
among them "WARRANTED VESSEL CLASSED AND CLASS MAINTAINED". Accordingly, we regret to advise that your
claim is not compensable and hereby DENIED." and asked for the return of the 3,000,000.
TRANS-ASIA filed a Complaint for Sum of Money against PRUDENTIAL with the RTC of Cebu City, wherein TRANS-ASIA
sought the amount of P8,395,072.26 from PRUDENTIAL, alleging that the same represents the balance of the indemnity
due upon the insurance policy in the total amount of P11,395,072.26. TRANS-ASIA similarly sought interest at 42% per
annum citing Section 243 of Presidential Decreee No. 1460, otherwise known as the "Insurance Code," as amended.
PRUDENTIAL denied the material allegations of the Complaint and interposed the defense that TRANS-ASIA breached
insurance policy conditions, in particular: PRUDENTIAL posits that TRANS-ASIA violated an express and material
warranty in the subject insurance contract, i.e., Marine Insurance Policy No. MH93/1363, specifically Warranty Clause
No. 5 thereof, which stipulates that the insured vessel, "M/V ASIA KOREA" is required to be CLASSED AND CLASS
MAINTAINED. According to PRUDENTIAL, on 25 October 1993, or at the time of the occurrence of the fire, "M/V ASIA
KOREA" was in violation of the warranty as it was not CLASSED AND CLASS MAINTAINED. PRUDENTIAL submits that
Warranty Clause No. 5 was a condition precedent to the recovery of TRANS-ASIA under the policy, the violation of which
entitled PRUDENTIAL to rescind the contract under Sec. 74 of the Insurance Code. By way of a counterclaim,
PRUDENTIAL sought a refund of P3,000,000.00, which it allegedly advanced to TRANS-ASIA by way of a loan without
interest and without prejudice to the final evaluation of the claim, including the amounts of P500,000.00, for survey fees
and P200,000.00, representing attorneys fees.
Trial court ruled in favor of Prudential. It ruled that a determination of the parties liabilities hinged on whether TRANSASIA violated and breached the policy conditions on WARRANTED VESSEL CLASSED AND CLASS MAINTAINED. It
interpreted the provision to mean that TRANS-ASIA is required to maintain the vessel at a certain class at all times
pertinent during the life of the policy. According to the court a quo, TRANS-ASIA failed to prove compliance of the terms of
the warranty, the violation thereof entitled PRUDENTIAL to rescind the contract.
The court of appeals reversed the decision. It ruled that PRUDENTIAL, as the party asserting the non-compensability of
the loss had the burden of proof to show that TRANS-ASIA breached the warranty, which burden it failed to discharge. It
considered PRUDENTIALs admission that at the time the insurance contract was entered into between the parties, the
vessel was properly classed by Bureau Veritas, a classification society recognized by the industry. It similarly gave weight
to the fact that it was the responsibility of Richards Hogg International (Phils.) Inc., the average adjuster hired by
PRUDENTIAL, to secure a copy of such certification to support its conclusion that mere absence of a certification does not
warrant denial of TRANS-ASIAs claim under the insurance policy.
Also the C.A. ruled that TRANS-ASIA is entitled to the unpaid claims covered by Marine Policy, or a total amount of
P8,395,072.26 however even if there was unreasonable denial or withholding of the payment of the claims due Trans-Asia
is still not entitled to pay for attorneys fees for it can only be awarded in the cases enumerated in Article 2208 of the Civil
Code. But Trans-Asia is entitled to double interest on the policy for the duration of the delay of payment of the unpaid
balance, citing Section 244 of the Insurance Code.
Issue: WON Prudential should pay Trans-Asia the unpaid claims covered by the marine policy including attorneys fees.

Ruling: Yes
Rationale:
Sec. 244 of the Insurance Code grants damages consisting of attorneys fees and other expenses incurred by the
insured after a finding by the Insurance Commissioner or the Court, as the case may be, of an unreasonable denial
or withholding of the payment of the claims due. Moreover, the law imposes an interest of twice the ceiling
prescribed by the Monetary Board on the amount of the claim due the insured from the date following the time
prescribed in Section 242 or in Section 243, as the case may be, until the claim is fully satisfied. Finally, Section
244 considers the failure to pay the claims within the time prescribed in Sections 242 or 243, when applicable, as
prima facie evidence of unreasonable delay in payment.
To the mind of this Court, Section 244 does not require a showing of bad faith in order that attorneys fees be granted. As
earlier stated, under Section 244, a prima facie evidence of unreasonable delay in payment of the claim is created
by failure of the insurer to pay the claim within the time fixed in both Sections 242 and 243 of the Insurance
Code. As established in Section 244, by reason of the delay and the consequent filing of the suit by the insured, the
insurers shall be adjudged to pay damages which shall consist of attorneys fees and other expenses incurred by
the insured.
Section 244 reads:
In case of any litigation for the enforcement of any policy or contract of insurance, it shall be the duty of the
Commissioner or the Court, as the case may be, to make a finding as to whether the payment of the claim of the insured
has been unreasonably denied or withheld; and in the affirmative case, the insurance company shall be adjudged to pay
damages which shall consist of attorneys fees and other expenses incurred by the insured person by reason of such
unreasonable denial or withholding of payment plus interest of twice the ceiling prescribed by the Monetary Board of the
amount of the claim due the insured, from the date following the time prescribed in section two hundred forty-two or in
section two hundred forty-three, as the case may be, until the claim is fully satisfied; Provided, That the failure to pay
any such claim within the time prescribed in said sections shall be considered prima facie evidence of unreasonable
delay in payment.

Sections 243 and 244 of the Insurance Code apply when the court finds an unreasonable delay or refusal in the
payment of the insurance claims.
In the case at bar, the facts as found by the Court of Appeals, and confirmed by the records show that there was an
unreasonable delay by PRUDENTIAL in the payment of the unpaid balance of P8,395,072.26 to TRANS-ASIA. On 26
October 1993, a day after the occurrence of the fire in "M/V Asia Korea", TRANS-ASIA filed its notice of claim. On 13
August 1996, the adjuster, Richards Hogg International (Phils.), Inc., completed its survey report recommending the
amount of P11,395,072.26 as the total indemnity due to TRANS-ASIA. On 21 April 1997, PRUDENTIAL, in a letter
addressed to TRANS-ASIA denied the latters claim for the amount of P8,395,072.26 representing the balance of the total
indemnity. On 21 July 1997, PRUDENTIAL sent a second letter to TRANS-ASIA seeking a return of the amount of
P3,000,000.00. On 13 August 1997, TRANS-ASIA was constrained to file a complaint for sum of money against
PRUDENTIAL praying, inter alia, for the sum of P8,395,072.26 representing the balance of the proceeds of the insurance
claim.
As can be gleaned from the foregoing, there was an unreasonable delay on the part of PRUDENTIAL to pay TRANS-ASIA,
as in fact, it refuted the latters right to the insurance claims, from the time proof of loss was shown and the
ascertainment of the loss was made by the insurance adjuster. Evidently, PRUDENTIALs unreasonable delay in satisfying
TRANS-ASIAs unpaid claims compelled the latter to file a suit for collection.
Succinctly, an award equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the unpaid proceeds of the policy as attorneys fees to TRANS-ASIA
is reasonable under the circumstances, or otherwise stated, ten percent (10%) of P8,395,072.26. In the case of Cathay
Insurance, Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, where a finding of an unreasonable delay under Section 244 of the Insurance
Code was made by this Court, we grant an award of attorneys fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total proceeds.
We find no reason to deviate from this judicial precedent in the case at bar.