Appeal from the Judgment entered October 26, 1988, Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Civil Division at No. GD 82-20706.
Michael C. George, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Kathleen S. McAllister, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Montemuro, Johnson and Cercone, JJ.
[ 386 Pa. Super. Page 414]
Appellant Louis A. Coppola asks us to decide whether the cancellation of an insurance policy by an insured is effective on the date named by the insured in the cancellation notice, or whether the cancellation is effective only upon its receipt by the insurance company. Finding that
[ 386 Pa. Super. Page 415]
cancellation by an insured is effective on the date that the insured intends to cancel, if such intent is clear and precise, and not on the date that the insurance company receives notice of cancellation, we affirm the judgment on the verdict in favor of appellee Insurance Placement Facility (IPF).
The following facts are not in dispute and have been stipulated by the parties. Appellant and his wife owned property at 1803 East Carson Street in Pittsburgh. A policy issued by the Insurance Placement Facility of Pennsylvania with a term running from November 18, 1981 through November 18, 1982 insured this property against loss by fire in the amount of $160,000.00. The policy contained the following cancellation clause, which is required by 40 Pa.C.S. § 636:
This policy shall be cancelled at any time at the request of the insured . . . This policy may be cancelled at any time by this Company by giving to the insured a five days' written notice of cancellation . . .
On March 25, 1982 Coppola met with his insurance broker and obtained new fire insurance from the North River Fire Insurance Company with a policy limit of $350,000.00. At the same time Coppola executed a Cancellation Request Policy Release form to cancel his old policy, the language of which read as follows:
Release Statement. The undersigned agrees that: The above referenced policy is lost, destroyed or being retained. No claims of any type will be made against the Insurance Company under this policy for losses which occur after the date of cancellation shown above. Any premium adjustment will be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of the policy.
Louis Coppola signed the form and next to his signature affixed the date, March 25, 1982. The form was also hand-dated at the top in the appropriate blank which indicated that cancellation of the policy was to become effective on March 25, 1982 at 12:01 a.m. Coppola then sent this release to his own agent, the Andrew Rodgers Agency, on April 1, 1982, which in turn sent the form to the mortgagee
[ 386 Pa. Super. Page 416]
in possession of the original policy, Sentinel Savings and Loan. The mortgagee returned the cancellation form and the original policy to the Andrew Rodgers Agency. IPF received the policy and cancellation from the agency on April 13, 1982. Return premiums were ...