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02/11/76 DUNCAN v. MICHIGAN MUTUAL LIABILITY

February 11, 1976

DUNCAN
v.
MICHIGAN MUTUAL LIABILITY COMPANY



Appeal from Wayne, Charles Kaufman, J.

J. H. Gillis, P. J., and Bronson and T. M. Burns, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Principal and Agent -- Authority -- Apparent Authority -- Question of Fact -- Question of Law.

The question of the apparent authority of an agent is generally for the trier of fact; however, the trial court may rule, as a matter of law, on the existence of the apparent authority where the facts are either admitted or undisputed as to the existence of the principal-agent relationship and as to the scope of the agent's authority.

2. Judgment -- Summary Judgment -- Court Rule.

Summary judgment may be granted where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact (GCR 1963, 117.2[3]).

3. Insurance -- Contracts -- Principal and Agent -- Authority.

Insurance companies are bound by all acts and contracts made by their agents which are within the apparent scope of authority conferred upon them; such authority, while not actually granted, is that which insurance companies knowingly permit agents to exercise or which is held out to the public, and is not narrowed by limitations not communicated to the person with whom the agent deals.

4. Insurance -- Contracts -- Estoppel -- Premiums for Insurance.

An insurance company which has received the premium of the insured under circumstances leading the insured to believe he is receiving, in consideration of the payment of such premium, a valid contract of insurance is estopped from afterward repudiating the contract.

5. Principal and Agent -- Insurance -- Contracts -- Insurance Solicitors -- Authority -- Scope of Authority.

The question in the consideration whether an insurance solicitor had authority to bind the insurance company is whether the solicitor acted within the apparent scope of his authority; where the solicitor solicits the insurance, collects the premium and delivers the policy, he clearly acts within the apparent scope of his authority, especially where the insurance company receives and keeps the premium.

6. Principal and Agent -- Insurance -- Contracts -- Employees -- Insurance Solicitors.

Insurance agents generally transact their business by and through employees, and when they do so the acts of these employees are as binding upon the insurance company as though done by the agents themselves; therefore, the fact that a solicitor who delivered a policy and collected the premium ...


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