Lumber Underwriters of New York v. Rife
237 U.S. 605 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lumber Underwriters of New York v. Rife, 237 U.S. 605 (1915)

Lumber Underwriters of New York v. Rife

No. 279

Argued May 13, 1915

Decided June 1, 1915

237 U.S. 605

Syllabus

If the insured can prove that he made a different contract from that expressed in the policy, he may have it reformed in equity, but he may not take the policy without reading it, and then, in a suit at law upon it, ask to have it enforced otherwise than according to its terms.

A policy of insurance is a document complete in itself, and the fact that there is an endorsement stating that it is a renewal of a prior existing policy which had a provision for renewal therein has no bearing on the express terms of the instrument.

A provision in a policy of insurance prescribing an express condition cannot be varied by parol evidence to the effect that the insurer knew that the condition was being violated and had been violated during the existence of a prior policy of which the existing policy purported to be a renewal.

204 F. 32 reversed.

The facts, which involve the construction of a policy of insurance and the right to vary the terms thereof by parol evidence, are stated in the opinion.

Page 237 U. S. 608

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