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U.S. Supreme Court

American Fire Ins. Co. v. King Lumber & Mfg. Co., 250 U.S. 2 (1919)

American Fire Insurance Company v.

King Lumber & Manufacturing Company

No. 308

Argued April 22, 1919

Decided May 19, 1919

250 U.S. 2


A fire insurance company transacting business in a state other than that of its incorporation is bound, in respect of such business, by the laws of the state where the business is transacted. P. 250 U. S. 9.

A Pennsylvania fire insurance corporation, through a series of years, issued a succession of policies on property in Florida, the business being done through local brokers who applied for the insurance, received and transmitted the premiums, drew their commissions from the company, and were consulted by it as to the subject matter insured and the other companies carrying insurance thereon. The policies, executed in Pennsylvania and sent to the brokers by mail, each contained a warranty for concurrent insurance throughout its term in another specified company, but, with the knowledge

Page 250 U. S. 3

of the brokers, a different company was substituted before the loss occurred. A law of Florida in existence throughout the transactions made any person who solicits insurance or procures applications therefor the agent of the insurer, anything in the application or policy to the contrary notwithstanding, and made one who receives or receipts for money from the insured to be transmitted to the insurer the agent of the latter "to all intents and purposes." Held that, as applied to the case so as to charge the company with the brokers' knowledge and effect a waiver of the warranty, the Florida law did not deny full faith and credit to the laws of Pennsylvania, or violate the privileges and immunities, due process, or equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. New York Life Insurance Co. v. Head, 234 U. S. 149, and Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Hilton-Green, 241 U. S. 613, distinguished.

In the interest of justice, the Court may decide the merits without passing on a motion to dismiss that depends on a disputed proposition involving the merits. P. 250 U. S. 14.

74 Fla. 130 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 250 U. S. 5

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