There are several recurring situations which illustrate the contract for the sole benefit of a third person. The commonest is the case already referred to of a life insurance policy for the benefit of another. This case may well be regarded as depending upon the nature of a policy of insurance as a mercantile instrument. At all events the insurance decisions form a class by themselves, and but little reference is made in them to the general law of contracts. Presumably everywhere a beneficiary to whom the insurer has promised the insured that the insurance money shall be paid is given a right to enforce the policy, and generally by a direct action. This result has been reached in England 90 and Massachusetts91 by statute, but in most states without the aid of a Statute.92 Where the policy reserves to the insured a right to change the beneficiary, there is a defeasible vested interest in the latter.93
N. W. 631; Mack Mfg. Co. v. Massachusetts etc. Ins. Co., 103 S. Car. 55, 87 S. E. 439.
89 Vrooman v. Turner, 69 N. Y. 280, 283, 25 Am. Rep. 195.