First Department Affirms Order Dismissing Case Seeking Life Insurance Proceeds from Lapsed Policies

Of Counsel William Billings obtained an affirmance in the Appellate Division, First Department, of an Order which granted defendants’ motions for summary judgment dismissing the Complaint.  Plaintiff sought to recover from Defendant insurance companies and insurance agent the proceeds of two life insurance policies on which she was designated as a beneficiary, but which had lapsed shortly before the death of the insured, her late husband.

At the time of Plaintiff’s husband’s death, the two policies had already lapsed due to nonpayment of premiums, and, by their terms, could not be reinstated after death. The Court rejected the Plaintiff’s contention that an issue of fact existed with respect to whether Defendants extended the grace period for payment of premiums on the policies, instead holding that the grace period extension argument was based solely on communications  the Plaintiff had had with Defendant insurance agent, who did not, as a contractual matter, have the authority to extend the policies’ grace periods. The Court of Appeals denied a Motion for Leave to Appeal.

A copy of the decision can be found here: