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BARTH v. STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY (06/13/69)

decided: June 13, 1969.

BARTH, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY



Appeal from judgment of County Court of Philadelphia, June T., 1967, No. 1066A, in case of Jerry Barth, also known as Gerald Barth, trading as Jerry's Market, v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company.

COUNSEL

Henry E. Skaroff, with him Skaroff and Skaroff, for appellant.

Albert L. Bricklin, with him Joel Paul Fishbein, and Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Hoffman

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 436]

This is an action in assumpsit by the owner of a grocery store against an insurer which refused to make payment on an insurance policy.

Appellant, the store owner, testified that he and an agent of the defendant insurance company negotiated a contract of insurance for appellant's grocery business. They reached an understanding and thereupon the agent filled out a coverage schedule on the back of a six page foldout brochure detailing the scope of coverage available. As the representations made in the brochure are important to the disposition of this case, a brief description of the brochure follows:

The front page contains an artist's rendition of an insurance agent and an insured happily scanning an insurance policy. In prominent lettering appears the legend "Now Cash In On Benefits of 'Package Merchandising in . . . Your Insurance.' The New Special Mercantile Package Policy Combines the Insurance

[ 214 Pa. Super. Page 437]

    for Your Business into One Neat Package for 1. Better Protection against Risks and Perils. 2. Time Saving Convenience Centralization of Coverage. 3. Premium Savings over Coverage Bought in Separate Policies. Just one policy -- one agent to consult, one renewal date, and one premium to pay." Opposite this description is a picture of an open carton labeled "Mercantile Package Policy."

The following three pages contain thirty-four sketches of different hazards against which the insured is protected, each accompanied by a brief textual description of the coverage involved. In addition, running across the bottom of these three pages is an insert labeled, "A Choice of 'All Risks' Coverage . . . Plus any of these Important Coverages . . . All at Attractive Discounts!" Underneath this legend is a series of eight pictures of the types of hazards covered by this "All Risk" insurance. One picture portrays a thief handing a typewriter to his confederate through the window of business premises. Apparently this transaction takes place when the premises are closed to business. Below this rendition appears the notation "Open Stock Burglary, or Storekeepers Burglary & Robbery, or Comprehensive Crime, may be added."

On the last two pages appears another picture of two smiling men, apparently an insurance agent and an insured, looking into the contents of a huge open box labeled "Special Package for Wholesalers and Retailers."

Opposite this picture is a schedule with columns entitled "Property and Perils Covered" and "Coverage (Amount)". Twenty-seven different hazards are listed under "Property and Perils Covered." One such category is "Comprehensive Crime Insurance." Another is "Open Stock Burglary Insurance." In the column labeled "Coverage ...


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