The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff James Hampton ("Hampton") and Defendant Hartford Life Insurance ("Hartford") have filed cross-motions for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 in this breach of contract action, which is based on Hartford's denial of a life insurance policy claim brought after the death of Hampton's daughter, Marian.*fn1 Marian Hampton died after she applied for life insurance and before any policy was issued. As the only beneficiary named on the application for insurance, Hampton brought suit against Hartford for the policy limits. Hartford claims that Marian Hampton was never insured, while Hampton claims that Marian Hampton had "interim" insurance. For the reasons set out herein, Hartford's motion is granted and Hampton's motion is denied.
This court has jurisdiction based upon diversity. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. This case was removed to the federal court from the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Kane County, Illinois. [Dkt 1.]Hartford alleges, and Hampton has not denied, that it is a citizen of Connecticut because it is incorporated and has its principal place of business there. (Notice of Removal ¶ 2; Pl.'s Resp. Facts ¶ 2.)*fn2 James Hampton is an Illinois resident. (Pl.'s Resp. Facts ¶ 1.) The amount in controversy is in excess of $75,000. (Id. ¶ 3.) Accordingly, jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 is appropriate.
Hampton's complaint alleges that Hartford wrongfully refused to pay insurance benefits on Marian Hampton's life insurance policy. (Compl. ¶ 12.) [Dkt 1.] The parties consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) for purposes of entry of final judgment as to the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. [Dkt 38.]
The facts are virtually undisputed. Plaintiff James Hampton is the father of Marian Hampton.
(Def.'s Resp. Facts ¶ 3.) On April 14, 1994, at her residence in Aurora, Illinois, Marian Hampton submitted her application for life insurance along with a check for $22.50 to her insurance agent, who was an agent of the G.F. Mann Agency, Ltd. (Id. ¶¶ 4, 6, 8).*fn3 A check was then issued from the G.F. Mann Agency, Ltd. to Hartford for $22.50, with the notation "Marian Hampton" written in the "explanation" box. (Id. ¶ 9.) Hampton was the sole beneficiary named on the application. (Def.'s Resp. Facts ¶ 5.)
The application consists of five form pages. The first page, entitled "Proposed Insured Information," asks for, in the first box, "Name of Proposed Insured." (Pl.'s Mot. Summ. J., Ex. 1, Part A.) [Dkt 50.] The second section is "Proposed joint insured/other covered insured information." (Id.) At the bottom of each page, the form states "Application continued." (Id. passim.) Finally, the applicant is asked to sign the last page, under "Agreement and Acknowledgment." (Id. at Part D.) The paragraph prior to the signature states:
Each of the undersigned declares that: the statements and answers contained in this application are complete and true to the best of each person's knowledge and belief; and each agrees that coverage can take effect only if the Proposed Insured(s) is/are alive and [illegible] answers material to the risk are still true and complete when the policy is delivered and paid for. I/We agree that the statements and answers contained in this application still form the basis of any contract for life insurance that may be issued; and, a copy of this application shall be attached to and made part of the policy. I/We have received a copy of the Company Compliance Illustration for the life insurance applied for herein. (Id. (emphasis added).)
Marian Hampton signed the "Agreement and Acknowledgment" above the words "Signature of Proposed Insured." (Id.) The form was filled in to acknowledge that $22.50 has been received with the application. (Id.) Marian Hampton also signed an authorization for Hartford to obtain, release and disclose information, including her health condition, hospital confinements, outpatient treatments and other medical information. (Id.)
The application further provides that a conditional receipt may be given in certain circumstances, as follows:
WHEN CONDITIONAL RECEIPT CAN BE USED
An advance payment may be accepted and the Conditional Receipt may be given ONLY under the following conditions:
1. The advance premium is at least equal to the amount of the full first premium ...