Venne v Michigan Mutual Insurance Company (After Remand); (COA-UNP, 11/14/1990; RB #1430)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 118123; Unpublished  
Judges MacKenzie, Sawyer, and R. B. Burns; Unanimous; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt   

Not Applicable

Cancellation and Rescission of Insurance Policies  
Equitable Estoppel  

This unanimous per curiam Opinion arises after a trial court remand following the decision in Venne v Michigan Mutual, 168 Mich App 513 (1988). On this occasion, the court affirmed summary disposition in favor of plaintiff and held that the defendant insurance company waived cancellation of an insurance policy where it accepted payment of plaintiff’s late premium prior to the accident and failed to refund the premium until approximately three months after plaintiff’s claim arose. This conduct constitutes waiver of the defendant's right to cancel the insurance policy at issue. Furthermore, the wording of the notice of cancellation to plaintiff was ambiguous and thus should be construed against the defendant. Even though the notice of cancellation stated that the premium was received too late to reinstate coverage, the notice also states that the defendant acknowledged receipt of plaintiff’s payment and that "it has been credited to the outstanding premium on your account." In addition, the notice itself did not indicate that any additional premium was due. The court stated: "Had defendant wished to cancel the policy, it could have refused to accept plaintiffs late premium payment and return plaintiffs money order to him and directed plaintiff to contact his agent to re-establish coverage… In sum, we conclude that the defendant's conduct establishes a waiver of the cancellation of the policy."