Annotate this Case

1953 OK 5
252 P.2d 495
207 Okla 673
Case Number: 35061
Decided: 01/10/1953
Supreme Court of Oklahoma


¶0 1. A contract of fire insurance is one of indemnity where the insurer undertakes to make the insured whole as against such loss of the insured property as he may suffer on account of fire in an amount not exceeding that stipulated in the policy.

2. As a general rule, the actual cash value of a building at the time of destruction by fire is determined by many factors in order to effectuate complete and proper indemnity. The cost of reproduction, the age of the building, the condition in which it has been maintained, all facts and circumstances which would logically enable the trier of such facts to determine a correct estimate of the loss are proper yard-sticks to be used in order to arrive at the value of the insured property as it stood on the day of the fire.

3. "Actual cash value" of building totally destroyed by fire is a matter of fact to be determined by a consideration of all relevant factors and circumstances existing at the time of the loss, and in the absence of affirmative proof of misconduct or lack of proper consideration, the jury's verdict, as to such value, based on competent evidence, will not be disturbed.

Appeal from District Court, Garvin County; Justin Hinshaw, Judge.

Action by N.J. Short against National-Ben Franklin Fire Insurance Company, a corporation, for total loss of building under a standard fire insurance policy. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant appeals. Affirmed.

Rittenhouse, Hanson, Evans & Turner, Oklahoma City, for plaintiff in error.

Hope & Hope, Maysville, and H.M. Redwine, Oklahoma City, for defendant in error.


¶1 This is a companion case to cause No. 34894, styled Rochester American Insurance Company, a corporation, v. N.J. Short, 207 Okla. 669, 252 P.2d 490, this day decided. The two cases grew out of the same fire. The house involved in this case is the identical property involved in cause 34894. The destroyed property was insured by two separate policies in the total amount of $5,000. The policy in cause No. 34894 was for an amount not to exceed $3,000, and the policy in the present case was for an amount not to exceed $3,000. The liability under both policies arose under the same fire.

¶2 The facts in these two cases were almost identical and the identical questions of law were involved in both.

¶3 Cause No. 34894, supra, is, therefore, decisive of the issues in the present cause.

¶4 Judgment affirmed.