Nebraska Revised Statute 44-501
Chapter 44 Section 501
Fire insurance policies; form; contents.
No policy or contract of fire and lightning insurance, including a renewal thereof, shall be made, issued, used, or delivered by any insurer or by any insurance producer or representative of an insurer on property within this state other than such as shall conform as nearly as practicable to blanks, size of type, context, provisions, agreements, and conditions with the 1943 Standard Fire Insurance Policy of the State of New York, a copy of which shall be filed in the office of the Director of Insurance as standard policy for this state, and no other or different provision, agreement, condition, or clause shall in any manner be made a part of such contract or policy or be endorsed thereon or delivered therewith except as provided in subdivisions (1) through (11) of this section.
(1) The name of the company, its location and place of business, the date of its incorporation or organization, the state or country under which such company is organized, the amount of paid-up capital stock, whether it is a stock, mutual, reciprocal, or assessment company, the names of its officers, the number and date of the policy, and appropriate company emblems may be printed on policies issued on property in this state. Any insurer organized under special charter provisions may so indicate upon its policy and may add a statement of the plan under which it operates in this state.
In lieu of the facsimile signatures of the president and secretary of the insurer on such policy, there may appear the signature or signatures of such persons as are duly authorized by the insurer to execute the contract. No such policy shall be void if the facsimile signature or signatures of any officer of the company shall not correspond with the actual persons who are such officers at the inception of the contract if such policy is countersigned by a duly authorized agent of the insurer.
(2) Printed or written forms of description and specifications or schedules of the property covered by any particular policy and any other matter necessary to express clearly all the facts and conditions of insurance on any particular risk, which facts or conditions shall in no case be inconsistent with or a waiver of any of the provisions or conditions of the standard policy herein provided for, may be written upon or attached or appended to any policy issued on property in this state. Appropriate forms of supplemental contracts, contracts, or endorsements, whereby the interest in the property described in such policy shall be insured against one or more of the perils which insurer is empowered to assume, may be used in connection with the standard policy. Such forms of contracts, supplemental contracts, or endorsements attached or printed thereon may contain provisions and stipulations inconsistent with the standard policy if applicable only to such other perils. The pages of the standard policy may be renumbered and rearranged for convenience in the preparation of individual contracts and to provide space for the listing of rates and premiums for coverages insured thereunder or under endorsements attached or printed thereon and such other data as may be included for duplication on daily reports for office records.
(3) A company, corporation, or association organized or incorporated under and in pursuance of the laws of this state or elsewhere, if entitled to do business in this state, may with the approval of the Director of Insurance, if the same is not already included in the standard form as filed in the office of the Department of Insurance, print on its policies any provision which it is required by law to insert therein if the provision is not in conflict with the laws of this state or the United States or with the provisions of the standard form provided for in this section, but such provision shall be printed apart from the other provisions, agreements, or conditions of the policy and in type not smaller than the body of the policy and a separate title, as follows: Provisions required by law to be stated in this policy, and be a part of the policy.
(4) There may be endorsed on the outside of any policy provided for in this section for the name, with the words insurance producer and place of business, of any insurance producer, either by writing, printing, stamping, or otherwise. There may also be added, with the approval of the Director of Insurance, a statement of the group of companies with which the company is financially affiliated and the usual company medallion.
(5) When two or more companies, each having previously complied with the laws of this state, unite to issue a joint policy, there may be expressed in the headline of each policy the fact of the severalty of the contract and also the proportion of premiums to be paid to each company and the proportion of liability which each company agrees to assume. In the printed conditions of such policy, the necessary change may be made from the singular to plural number when reference is made to the companies issuing such policy.
(6) This section shall not apply to motor vehicle, inland marine, or ocean marine insurance, reinsurance contracts between insurance companies, or insurance that does not cover risks of a personal nature. An insurer may file with the director, pursuant to the Property and Casualty Insurance Rate and Form Act, any form of policy which includes coverage against the peril of fire and substantial coverage against other perils without complying with the provisions of this section if such policy with respect to the peril of fire includes provisions which are the substantial equivalent of the minimum provisions of the standard policy provided for in this section and if the policy is complete as to all its terms without reference to any other document.
(7) If the policy is made by a mutual assessment or other company having special regulations lawfully applicable to its organization, membership, policies, or contracts of insurance, such regulations shall apply to and form a part of the policy as the same may be written or printed upon or attached or appended thereto.
(8) Assessment associations may issue policies with such modifications as shall be filed with the director pursuant to the Property and Casualty Insurance Rate and Form Act.
(9) Any other coverage which a company is authorized to write under the laws of this state may be written in combination with a fire insurance policy.
(10) The policy shall provide that claims involving total loss situations shall be paid in accordance with section 44-501.02.
(11) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an insurer may file, pursuant to the Property and Casualty Insurance Rate and Form Act, any form of policy with variations in terms and conditions from the standard policy provided for in this section.
- Laws 1913, c. 154, § 100, p. 444;
- R.S.1913, § 3237;
- Laws 1919, c. 190, tit. V, art. VII, § 1, p. 625;
- C.S.1922, § 7836;
- C.S.1929, § 44-601;
- R.S.1943, § 44-501;
- Laws 1951, c. 139, § 1, p. 572;
- Laws 1959, c. 207, § 1, p. 724;
- Laws 1973, LB 51, § 1;
- Laws 1989, LB 92, § 119;
- Laws 2003, LB 216, § 5;
- Laws 2007, LB117, § 4.
- Property and Casualty Insurance Rate and Form Act, see section 44-7501.
1. New York form
2. Valued policy
3. Burden of Proof
1. New York form
Absent legislative intent to the contrary, the subsections of this section must be read in pari materia to authorize the Director of Insurance to approve fire insurance policy forms differing from the 1943 New York Standard Fire Insurance Policy only if the provisions are the substantial equivalent of the minimum provisions of the 1943 New York Standard Fire Insurance Policy. Volquardson v. Hartford Ins. Co., 264 Neb. 337, 647 N.W.2d 599 (2002).
Under this section, an insured's recovery on a fire insurance policy is limited by the provisions of the policy as written in conformity with the 1943 Standard Fire Insurance Policy of New York and former section 44-380, now section 44-501.02, is not applicable. Insurance Co. of North America v. County of Hall, 188 Neb. 609, 198 N.W.2d 490 (1972).
New York form of fire insurance policy is in force in this state. Rhodes v. Continental Ins. Co., 180 Neb. 10, 141 N.W.2d 415 (1966).
Fire insurance is required to be written on forms prescribed by the Department of Insurance as nearly as practicable in the form known as the New York standard form. Leisy v. Farmers Mut. Home Ins. Co., 128 Neb. 278, 258 N.W. 481 (1935).
New York form should be adopted as the basis of the insurance contract but, in construing as nearly as practicable, all provisions of New York form should be omitted which are in conflict with provisions of the code. State ex rel. Martin v. Howard, 96 Neb. 278, 147 N.W. 689 (1914).
2. Valued policy
Recovery limited to actual value of property rather than amount of insurance where policy was issued and loss occurred before section 44-501 was amended in 1973 to reinstate "valued policy" provisions in former section 44-380, now section 44-501.02. Zweygardt v. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 195 Neb. 811, 241 N.W.2d 323 (1976).
Provision in fire insurance policy limiting recovery to the cost of repair or replacement is applicable to losses not covered by Valued Policy Law, and is a limitation on what otherwise might be recovered under the policy. Voges v. Mechanics Ins. Co., 119 Neb. 553, 230 N.W. 105 (1930).
Provision that it should be optional with insurer to replace destroyed property is invalid in case of total loss, as in conflict with Valued Policy Law. Fadanelli v. National Security Fire Ins. Co., 113 Neb. 830, 205 N.W. 642 (1925).
3. Burden of Proof
Once a policy holder presents evidence through the introduction of the 1943 Standard Fire Insurance Policy of the State of New York that an exclusion clause fails to comply with this section, the insurer has the burden to show that the exclusion was approved by the Director of Insurance for the State of Nebraska. Spulak v. Tower Ins. Co., 251 Neb. 784, 559 N.W.2d 197 (1997).
Although this section precludes evidence of the actual value of the insured premises for the purpose of voiding a fire insurance policy on the basis it was procured fraudulently or for the purpose of showing that a proof of loss statement was executed with fraudulent intent, evidence of actual value may nonetheless be admitted as bearing on the insured's motive to commit arson. Heady v. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 217 Neb. 172, 349 N.W.2d 366 (1984).
This statute requires an "open policy", providing recovery for the actual value of the loss, with the amount stated in the policy being a limitation on recovery. Clemon v. Occidental Fire & Cas. Co., 200 Neb. 469, 264 N.W.2d 192 (1978).
This section by its terms is confined to fire and lightning insurance; also policy expressly waived one year statute of limitations so as to comply with Nebraska five year statute of limitations. Wulf v. Farm Bureau Ins. Co., 190 Neb. 34, 205 N.W.2d 640 (1973).
Issue of unconstitutionality of this section was not properly raised in trial court. Rhodes v. Continental Ins. Co., 180 Neb. 794, 146 N.W.2d 66 (1966).
The description of the property insured is a matter of contract between the parties, and whether the property injured was covered by the policy is a matter of construction of the words used to describe the property insured. Norfolk Packing Co. v. American Ins. Co. of Newark, 120 Neb. 19, 231 N.W. 148 (1930).
Oral agreement to insure is enforceable, but same must be definite as to all of material terms of contract. Glatfelter v. Security Ins. Co., 102 Neb. 464, 167 N.W. 572 (1918).
This section did not require use of loss payable clause under which insured's misconduct would not preclude recovery by mortgagee. State Securities Co. v. Federated Mut. Imp. & Hard. Ins. Co., 204 F.Supp. 207 (D. Neb. 1960).