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SMITH v. SANFT (06/13/62)

June 13, 1962

SMITH
v.
SANFT, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 123, Oct. T., 1962, from judgment of County Court of Philadelphia, March T., 1960, No. 11885-E, in case of Francis R. Smith, Insurance Commissioner, v. Sarah Sanft. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Henry E. Skaroff, for appellant.

John T. Curtin, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Woodside

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 341]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the County Court of Philadelphia entered in favor of the Insurance Commissioner as Statutory Liquidator of a mutual fire insurance company against a former policyholder of the company.

The action was brought in assumpsit to recover an assessment calculated under an assessment order of the Dauphin County Court. The relevant facts, set forth in an agreed statement of the case, are as follows:

The General Mutual Fire Insurance and Reinsurance Company, a domestic mutual fire insurance company, became insolvent and was dissolved on November 20, 1951, by order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County. The Insurance Commissioner became its statutory receiver to liquidate its business.

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 342]

On May 10, 1958, the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, sitting as the Commonwealth Court, ordered and decreed that all members and policyholders of the company, including the appellant, pay an additional premium or assessment for the purpose of paying the losses of the company. The court set forth a formula to be followed in arriving at the computation of the assessment against the individual policyholders. The said assessment order, after setting forth the petitioning by the liquidator for an assessment order, the hearings thereon, and the notice thereof, provided: "that all members and policyholders ... who had policies in effect during all or part of the period from December 22, 1947 to November 1, 1951, inclusive pay ... an additional premium or assessment.... The additional premium or assessment of each member and policyholder shall be the result of multiplying the total of the following monthly assessment factors of the months during which a policy was in force by the cash premium stated in the policy, subject to the limitation that the additional premium or assessment shall not exceed an amount equal to the said cash premium." (Emphasis supplied) The monthly assessment factors were then set forth in the order.

Thereafter, the liquidator computed the assessment owing under the said order from the appellant as $1,764.00. After payment was refused the liquidator brought suit in assumpsit in the then Municipal Court of Philadelphia.

The appellant and her husband (who had died prior to the institution of the suit herein involved) had been insured by the company under four standard fire and extended coverage insurance policies in the amount of $10,000.00 each, covering four separate buildings. The policies were written for a period of five ...


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