property damage, and a $ 250 deductible for collision coverage. The application form which the Defendant had signed stated in bold faced print, on page 2, that the effective date and time of coverage was July 23, 1988, at 2:45 p.m., and further stated in bold-faced print that "IN NO EVENT SHALL COVERAGE BE EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO THE DATE AND HOUR OF COMPLETION OF THIS APPLICATION."
The Defendant then gave Dao a check from her Sovran Bank account, numbered 475 and dated July 23, 1988, in the amount of $ 413.00 as an installment payment on the annual premium under the policy coverage for which the Defendant applied. Dao gave Defendant a document entitled "Insurance Binding Memorandum and Receipt." The issued binder bore the number 01693 72388 and stated that the effective date of coverage was July 23, 1988. (Again, the last five digits of the binder reflected the date the application for insurance was signed.)
Molovinsky forwarded Defendant's July 23, 1988 application and her premium check to the Manager of the Plan in Richmond, Virginia, and discarded the Defendant's July 20, 1988 application along with a copy of the binder that he had issued to Defendant on that date. Neither the Plan nor the Plaintiff ever received the July 20, 1988 application or its $ 365 premium check.
On July 25, 1988, Defendant telephoned Molovinsky and apprised him that she had been in the Keystone office on July 23, 1988, and had filled out an application and been issued a binder by Dao with an effective coverage date of July 23, 1988. She told Molovinsky that she had lost the original binder which he had given her pursuant to the first application and repeatedly requested that Molovinsky issue her a binder retroactive to July 20, 1988 because she was required by her employer to show that she had coverage in effect since that date. Molovinsky specifically asked the Defendant if she had been involved in an automobile accident. The Defendant denied any accidents and again insisted that she only needed a retroactive binder for job purposes. Accordingly, Molovinsky prepared a third binder on either July 25 or 26, 1988, which he signed and mailed to the Defendant. This binder bore identification number DC0720B88 and had an effective date of July 20, 1988, at 12:00 p.m.
The July 23, 1988 application and $ 413 premium check which Molovinsky had mailed to the Plan were received in the office of the Plan Manager who assigned the Defendant's application to Plaintiff.
On or about August 3, 1988, Plaintiff received from the Plan Manager the July 23, 1988 application that Defendant had completed, her premium check, and an Assignment Notice which informed Plaintiff that the effective date of coverage for the policy that Plaintiff was to issue to Defendant was that on the application, July 23, 1988, at 2:45 p.m.
Plaintiff then issued policy No. 51935642 to Defendant on August 11, 1988. Plaintiff sent a copy of the policy to Defendant with a declaration sheet which stated that the policy period would run from July 23, 1988, through July 23, 1989, effective at 12:01 a.m.
After Defendant received the policy she informed Plaintiff that she had been involved in a fatal accident with Ward in the early morning hours of July 23, 1988. Plaintiff's agents inquired of Defendant why she did not disclose the accident in the application form which she signed on July 23, 1988, at 2:45 p.m. The Defendant replied that she possessed a binder providing her with coverage effective July 20, 1988, and mailed a copy of the retroactively-dated binder to Plaintiff, along with a copy of Sovran Bank Check No. 475 which Defendant had used to pay her installment premium on the July 23, 1988 insurance application. The Defendant altered the date on check No. 475 from July 23, 1988, to July 20, 1988. The Defendant subsequently produced yet another check dated July 20, 1988, in the amount of $ 413.00, which Defendant claimed she had given to Molovinsky at the time she filled out her original application. This check, which was purportedly written three days prior to check No. 475, was check No. 500.
Molovinsky acknowledges that he received a check from the Defendant on July 20, 1988, but denies that it was check No. 500. Molovinsky states that the check that he received from the Defendant on July 20, 1988 was in the amount of approximately $ 365.00 which reflects the premium that was assessed pursuant to her original application which contained a $ 500 collision deductible. The figure of $ 413 reflects the higher premium assessed in the July 23, 1988 application where the Defendant applied for a $ 250 collision deductible.
II. LEGAL DISCUSSION
This Court separately discusses the legal issues raised by each of the applications and binders and rules that regardless of which one Defendant relies upon, the Plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment that it has no duty to defend nor provide insurance coverage for any claims asserted against Defendant arising out of the July 23, 1988 automobile accident which occurred in the Third Street Tunnel at 5:30 in the morning.
A. July 23, 1988 Application
The insurance policy which the Defendant received from Plaintiff was pursuant to the July 23, 1988 application in which Defendant made no mention of the accident. The Plaintiff has no duty to defend or cover the Defendant under this policy for two reasons.
1. Date and Time of Effective Coverage
The declaration sheet which Plaintiff issued to Defendant with Policy No. 51935642 states that the policy period runs "from July 23, 1988, to July 23, 1989 A.M. standard time at the address of the named insured as stated herein," effective at 12:01 a.m. However, the application form which the Defendant had signed stated in bold faced print, on page 2, that the effective date and time of coverage was July 23, 1988, at 2:45 p.m., and further stated in bold-faced print that "IN NO EVENT SHALL COVERAGE BE EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO THE DATE AND HOUR OF COMPLETION OF THIS APPLICATION." Section 116.6 of the District of Columbia Automobile Insurance Plan, contained at Title 26 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, provides:
If the applicant requires that the coverage applied for become effective at the time of application, the producer of record shall indicate the time and date when coverage is required. The coverages and limits for which the applicant is applying shall become effective as of the time the application is completed. The producer of record and the applicant shall certify in the application the date (day, month, and year) and time (hour, a.m. or p.m.) that the application was written.
Section 116.9 provides "in no event shall coverage be effective prior to the time shown on the application."
In light of Sections 116.6 and 116.9, and the fact that Defendant chose an effective coverage period to begin on July 23, 1988 at 2:45 p.m. when she signed the application, the Plan Manager was required to officially designate the effective date and time of coverage in the Assignment Notice accordingly. Therefore, the fact that the Plaintiff issued a declaration with an inconsistent effective time of coverage is of no significance.
The regulatorily required date and time controls the effective period of coverage and obviously prevails over inconsistent terms in the policy as written by the company. See Manufacturers Life Ins. Co. v. Capitol Datsun, Inc., 185 U.S. App. D.C. 34, 566 F.2d 354, 357 (D.C. Cir. 1977); Stevens v. American Serv. Mut. Ins. Co., 234 A.2d 305 (D.C. 1967).
2. Fraudulent Concealment
A second reason why the Plaintiff is not required to defend or provide coverage to Defendant, even assuming that the policy was in effect at 12:01 a.m. on the morning of July 23, 1988, is because the Defendant deliberately and fraudulently concealed her involvement in the accident at the time that she filled out the application for coverage.
It is well-established that deliberate misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in an application for insurance renders that policy void ab initio. See Skinner v. Aetna Life & Cas., 256 U.S. App. D.C. 150, 804 F.2d 148 (D.C.Cir. 1986); Johnson v. Prudential Ins. Co., 589 F. Supp. 30 (D.D.C. 1983), aff'd, 240 U.S. App. D.C. 254, 744 F.2d 878 (D.C.Cir. 1984); Blair v. Inter-Ocean Ins. Co., 191 U.S. App. D.C. 207, 589 F.2d 730 (D.C.Cir. 1978); cf. D.C.Code § 35-414 (governing false statements in applications for life insurance policies). Moreover, this Court may determine as a matter of law that Defendant's concealment of the accident was deliberate and fraudulent. See Skinner, 256 U.S. App. D.C. 150, 804 F.2d 148; Johnson, 589 F. Supp. 30; Hill v. Prudential Ins. Co., 315 A.2d 146 (D.C. 1974); Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Johnson, 363 A.2d 984 (D.C. 1976).
The District of Columbia Automobile Insurance Plan defines the eligibility of applicants for assigned risk coverage under the Plan. Section 109 of the Plan provides in pertinent part:
Section 109 -- Eligibility of Applicants 109.1