This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Insurance policies frequently contain provisions for avoiding the policy in case additional insurance is taken without the consent of the insurer, and full effect is given to such conditions.1 While such conditions are construed fairly for the purpose of preventing over-insurance, they are construed strictly if over-insurance does not result.2 A condition against additional insurance upon the property described in the insurance policy or on property in buildings insured by the insurer, does not include insurance upon the contents of a barn which is not covered by the original insurance upon the barn itself.3 A condition against additional insurance is not broken by insurance which never took effect.4 Even if the condition against additional insurance expressly provides that the policy shall become void in case of additional insurance, whether the additional insurance is valid or not, such condition does not include an application for additional insurance on which it is understood that no risk attaches.5 Such a condition does not apply to insurance which is taken to make the total amount of insurance which it is understood at the outset, is to be placed upon the property;6 nor does it apply where the policy limits the liability of the insurer to the proportion which his insurance bears to the total insurance up to a certain percentage of the valuation of the property.7 Such a condition is not avoided by the fact that the mortgagee, without the authority of the mortgagor, effected insurance to protect his own interest in the property.8 Such a condition in a policy of insurance upon cattle is not avoided by the fact that the stockyards to which the cattle are shipped takes out insurance on all cattle which are shipped into the yards, if the owner does not know of such custom.9
14 Palatine Ins. Co. v. Kehoe, 197 Mass. 354, 15 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1007, 83 N. E. 866.
1 Hartford, F. Ins. Co. v. Liddell Co., 130 Ga. 8, 14 L. R. A. (N.S.) 168, 60 S. £. 104; Riley v. Aetna Insurance Co., 80 W. Va. 236, L. R. A. 1917E, 983, 92 S. E. 417.
2 Petello v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 89 Conn. 17."), L. R. A. 1915D, 812, 93 Atl. 137; Ensel v. Lumber Ins. Co., 88 O. S. 269, 102 N. E. 955; Gould v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 105 Wash. 250, 177 Pac. 787.
3 Ensel v. Lumber Ins. Co., 88 O. S. 209, 102 N. E. 955; Gould v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 105 Wash. 250, 177 Pac. 787.
4 Petello v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 89 Conn. 175, L. R. A. 1915D, 812, 93 Atl. 137.
5 Hartford F. Ins. Co. v. Liddell Co., 130 Ga. 8, 14 L. R. A. (N.S.) 168, 60 S. E. 104.
1 Bowlus v. Phenix Ins. Co., 133 Ind. 106, 20 L. R. A. 400, 32 N. E. 319 (obiter); Pettijohn v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 100 Kan. 482, 164 Pac. 1096; Camden Wholesale Grocery v. National Fire Ins. Co., 106 S. Car. 467, 91 S. E. 732.
2 England. Equitable Fire & Acci. Office, Ltd., v. Ching Wo Hong , A. C. 96.
Colorado. National Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Duncan, 44 Colo. 472, 98 Pac.