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12/29/89 Elsie Rizzo, Ex'r of the v. Travelers Insurance

December 29, 1989

ELSIE RIZZO, EX'R OF THE ESTATE OF FRED RIZZO, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

549 N.E.2d 810, 193 Ill. App. 3d 67, 140 Ill. Dec. 159 1989.IL.2071

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas R. Rakowski, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE JOHNSON delivered the opinion of the court. JIGANTI, P.J., and LINN, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE JOHNSON

Plaintiff, Elsie Rizzo, the widow and beneficiary of Fred Rizzo, brings this appeal after a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants, Travelers Insurance Company (Travelers) and Local No. 1 Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (Local No. 1). On appeal, plaintiff contends that the court erred in its construction of a benefit provision of a life insurance policy, thereby serving to deny plaintiff the correct benefit amount under the policy.

On August 1, 1982, a group life insurance policy was purchased by Local No. 1 from Travelers to provide insurance for Local No. 1 employees and union members. When the policy was issued, decedent was employed by Local No. 1 and held the position of "Business Agent" with the union.

The policy's "Schedule of Benefits" provided, in pertinent part, as follows:

"LIFE INSURANCE -- FOR YOU ONLY

Occupation or Position Amount of Life Insurance

Prior to Age 65 I. Actively Employed Officer $40,000 II. Business Agent $10,000 III. All other occupations & positions $6,000

Changes in amounts of insurance due to change in your occupation or position will become effective on the Policy Anniversary following the date your occupation or position is changed. Such new amounts of insurance will be determined in accordance with the table above upon the basis of your occupation or position as of the first day of the third insurance month next preceding such Policy Anniversary."

All sums are doubled in the event of an accidental death.

June 1, 1983, and the same date each year thereafter was designated as the policy anniversary date. March 1 of each year was designated as the date on which Travelers determined the amount of insurance each employee and union ...


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