of the states in which such courts
Rev. St.§ 914.
is provided in the Public, Statutes of Rhode Island, (1882,) p.555, §
33. that no action shall be defeated on account of the misjoinder of parties, if the matter in controversy can be properly with, and settled between the parties before the court, and the court may order any party improperly joined in any action to be stricken out. The name of Adelbert J. Perry, trustee, may be stricken out. and judgment entered in favor of the other plaintiffs for the amount of the policy, with legal interest from November 24, 1880.
and Wife v. F ANEUIL
(Oircuit Court, n. Rhode Island.
March 25, 1882,)
INSURANCE-TERMS IN POLICY OONSTRUED.
Where a policy of insurance contained the following clause: U If the interest of the insured in the pollcy be any other than the entire, unconditi9nal, and Bole ownership of the property for the use and benefit of the insured" or if the building insured stand on leased ground, it must ,be so represented to the companv, and so expressed in the written portion of the policy, otherwise the policy shall be void,"-a policy taken out by husband and wife on the wife's separate property, without disclosing how the husband and wife were respectively interested in the property, is not void. All that is requisite under such a condition in the policy is to satisfy the insurers that the estate is absolute and unencumbered in the insured; or,if not, to what extent encumbered, or what estate less than a fee-simple is owned by the insured.
SAME-WIFE'S ES'fATE-JOINDER OF HUSBAND.
Where the property insured was the property of the wife, held as ber sole and separate estate, according to chapter 152 of the General Statutes of Rhode Island, which gives the husband only a revocable right to receive rents, and a vested remainder for his life after the death of the wife, there can be no objection to his joining in the application for insurance.
SAME-PROOF OF LOSS-WAIVER.
The condition in a policy reqUiring proofs to be furnished in some detail, with the certificate of a magistrate, and undertaking to pay the loss 60 days after these proofs have been received. may be waived; and where the company sent an agent as adjuster with authority to find out the amount of loss, and such agent told the insured to forward a memorandum of items of the things burnt to the company, and he would return in a day or two and settle, it constitutes a waiver of formal proofs of loss.
Motionfor a New Trial. Tkos. A. Jenckes, Chas. A. Wilson, Wm. G. Roelker, and F. W. Miner, for plaintiffs. Beach cf: Allen, for defendant.
PERRY V. FANEUIL HALL INS. 00.
Before LOWELL and COL;, JJ. LOWELL, C. J. This was an action upon a policy of fire insurance issued to John A.Perry and Ellathea Perry, his wife, for $700, on buildings and personal property. The evidence tended to show that the premises were the sole property of the wife, and were totally destroyed by fire. The policy contained the following clause: "If the interest of the assured in the property be any other than the entire, unconditional, and sole ownership of the property for the use and benefit of the assured, or if the building insured stands on leased gronnd, it must be so represented to the company, and so expressed in the written portion of the policy, otherwise the policy shall be void." The defendants objected that the policy was void for not disclosing how the husband and wife were respectively interested in the property. This objection misapprehends the meaning of this clause. It is of no interest to the company to know what the rights of the assured are between themselves. What they require is to be satisfied that the estate is absolute and unencumbered in the assured; or, if not, how and to what extent it is encumbered, or what estate, less than a fee-simple, is owned by the assured. The land upon which the building stood was the property of the wife, held according to chapter 152 of the General Statutes of Rhode Island, which gives the husband only a revocable right to receive rents, and a vested remainder for his life after the death of his wife. In re The Voting Laws, 12 R. I. 586. But we see no objection to his joining in the application for insurance and in the policy. The statute requires him to be joined in deeds, and he might well suppose that it was more regular that he should give his concurrence to a contract of this sort. Indeed, when the nnderwriters are a mutual company, stipulating for a lien upon the land, it is by no means clear that his joinder would not be useful to the company. No case has been cited to us which holds a policy to be void when the assured were the owners in fee of unencumbered property. On the contrary, in one case, where the condition was much more stringent than this, requiring the true title to be specified in the policy, two persons, whose interests were several, one owning the building and the other the stock of goods, were jointly insured, and the policy contained no specification at all, and was held to be valid. The title was orally disclosed to the agent of the company, but the decision did not depend wholly upon this. The able and learned judge who delivered the opinion, and who was afterwards for many years chief justice of Connecticut, said: "It is enough that, among,all the persons
insured in a single policy, they have a perfect title, or a title unencumbered only in the manner stated in the proposal." Peel.: v. New London Ins. Co. 22 Conn. 575, 583. It is hardly necessary to invoke the rule which has been established by the courts that this condition is to be construed most strongly against the company; for a husband and wife insuring property would naturally be understood as representing that it washer property, else she would not be joined. Whether it was hers under the common law or the recent statutes was of no interest to the underwriters. There is the further question whether any evidence is to be found in the plaintiffs' case fit to be submitted to the jury on the proofs of loss. Condition 9 requires proofs to be furnished in some detail, with the certificate of a magistrate, and the undertaking is to pay 60 days after these proofs have been received. Such proofs were furnished, but less than 60 days before the action was brought. The plaintiffs insist that the formal proofs were waived. Perry testified that the company sent a man named Davis to settle the loss; that Davis asked him to send the company a memorandum of items of the things burnt, and that he would come down in a day or two and settle and that he, Perry, did send a memorandum. Mr. Davenport, the general agent of the company, testified: "After the fire the company sent Mr. Davis here, as adjuster, to find out the amount of 10s8." It seems to us, on consideration, that there was evidence to go to the jury that formal proof of loss had been waived. If Davis had authority to adjust and settle the loss, we think, as matter of law, he could do so with or without formal proofs. That he had such authority appears by evidence, of which the jury were to judge. Again, as matter of law, what Davis said was a waiver, none could be more distinct. Whether he said so was for the jury. If a memorandum of loss was sent to the company there is much authority for saying that though it was informal and inadequate, yet it was a compliance with the requirements of the policy, unless the company, within 60 days, objected to it for insufficiency. Whether such a memorandum was sent was for the jury. We are of opinion, therefore, that the plaintiffs are entitled to a new trial, and it is so ordered.
FERRY v. MECEANICS' MUTUAL INS. CO. PERRY and Wife v. MECHANICS' MUTUAL INs. CO!
(Circuit Court, D. Rhode Island.
March 25, 1882.)
INSURANCe-WIFE'S SEPARATE ESTATE.
Where the property insured was the sole and separate estate of the wife, the refusal of the court to admit evidence tending to show that her husband in her absence, and without her complicity, wilfully set fire to the buildings, is not erroneous.
SAME-HuSBAND'S ACT NOT TO DEFEAT RIGHTS OF WIFE.
A husband has no power to affect his wife's title by any act or neglect, nor can she be held responsihle for his criminal acts; and his joinder with his wife in an action for the recovery of the insurance will not constitute a defence.
If a statute makes the husoand a stranger to his wife's property during her life, excepting as to a veto upon her conveyance thereof, it does not give him power to destroy her house and thereby vitiate her insurance.
SAME-VALUATION, CONCLUSIVENESS OF.
If the insurance agent takes upon himself the whole responsibility of the valuation of the property insured, and was not induced to fix the amount of insurance by the reprcsentations or acquiescence of the insured, or if the valuation is agreed between the parties fairly and without deception, it is conclusive on both. 5. SAME-MEASURE OF RECOVERY.
The recovery on a policy of fire insurance is to be for the value of the property at the time of the loss; and where there was no offer to prove a deprecia. tion since the policy was issued. the valuation is conclusive of the amount to be recovered in case of a total loss, "as well as conclusive that there was no overvaluation.
Motion for aNew Trial. Tkos. A. Jenckes, Chas. A. Wilson, Wm. G. Roelker, and F" TV. Miner, for plaintiffs. Beach ff Allen, for defendant. Before LOWELL. and COLT, JJ. LOWELL, C. J. This case involves less than $5,000, and we have therefore carefully examined the defendant's exceptions to the rulings and charge of the presiding judge. The property insured was the sole and separate estate of the wife, and the first exception is to the refusal to admit evidence tending to show that the husband, in hili wife's absence, and without her complicity, wilfully set fire to the buildings. In this ruling we find no error. The title of the wife was held under chapter 152 of the General Statutes of Rhode Island, which we have discussed in the case against the Faneuil Hall Insurance Company, ante, 482.' The husband has a revocable agency to collect rents and profits of his wife's estate until she chooses to revoke it,