Vanderbilt Law Review

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There were only two cases reported during the survey period on the subject of liability insurance. In the first of these, Rural Education Ass'n, Inc. v. American Fire & Casualty Co., the insured had notice of an accident on the day it occurred. Suit for injuries growing out of the accident was filed nearly seven months later, and not until the day after suit was filed did the insured notify the insurer of the accident. After judgment was obtained against it, the insured brought the present suit against its insurer. The insurance policy required that notice be given "as soon as practicable" following the accident. The district court held that a delay of seven months constituted a breach of this provision, and the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. In the absence of excuse for the delay or of waiver by the insurer, it is generally recognized that proper notice of claims is a condition precedent to insurance coverage. No circumstances were shown in the present case to take it out of the general rule.