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G.R. No.

147839

June 8, 2006

GAISANO CAGAYAN, INC. Petitioner, vs. INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, Respondent. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision1 dated October 11, 2000 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 61848 which set aside the Decision dated August 31, 1998 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 138, Makati (RTC) in Civil Case No. 92-322 and upheld the causes of action for damages of Insurance Company of North America (respondent) against Gaisano Cagayan, Inc. (petitioner); and the CA Resolution dated April 11, 2001 which denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration. The factual background of the case is as follows: Intercapitol Marketing Corporation (IMC) is the maker of Wrangler Blue Jeans. Levi Strauss (Phils.) Inc. (LSPI) is the local distributor of products bearing trademarks owned by Levi Strauss & Co.. IMC and LSPI separately obtained from respondent fire insurance policies with book debt endorsements. The insurance policies provide for coverage on "book debts in connection with ready-made clothing materials which have been sold or delivered to various customers and dealers of the Insured anywhere in the Philippines."2 The policies defined book debts as the "unpaid account still appearing in the Book of Account of the Insured 45 days after the time of the loss covered under this Policy."3 The policies also provide for the following conditions: 1. Warranted that the Company shall not be liable for any unpaid account in respect of the merchandise sold and delivered by the Insured which are outstanding at the date of loss for a period in excess of six (6) months from the date of the covering invoice or actual delivery of the merchandise whichever shall first occur. 2. Warranted that the Insured shall submit to the Company within twelve (12) days after the close of every calendar month all amount shown in their books of accounts as unpaid and thus become receivable item from their customers and dealers. x x x4 xxxx Petitioner is a customer and dealer of the products of IMC and LSPI. On February 25, 1991, the Gaisano Superstore Complex in Cagayan de Oro City, owned by petitioner, was consumed by fire. Included in the items lost or destroyed in the fire were stocks of ready-made clothing materials sold and delivered by IMC and LSPI. On February 4, 1992, respondent filed a complaint for damages against petitioner. It alleges that IMC and LSPI filed with respondent their claims under their respective fire insurance policies with book debt endorsements; that as of February 25, 1991, the unpaid accounts of petitioner on the sale and delivery of ready-made clothing materials with IMC was P2,119,205.00 while with LSPI it was P535,613.00; that respondent paid the claims of IMC and LSPI and, by virtue thereof, respondent was subrogated to their rights against petitioner; that respondent made several demands for payment upon petitioner but these went unheeded.5

In its Answer with Counter Claim dated July 4, 1995, petitioner contends that it could not be held liable because the property covered by the insurance policies were destroyed due to fortuities event or force majeure; that respondent's right of subrogation has no basis inasmuch as there was no breach of contract committed by it since the loss was due to fire which it could not prevent or foresee; that IMC and LSPI never communicated to it that they insured their properties; that it never consented to paying the claim of the insured.6 At the pre-trial conference the parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement.7 Thus, trial on the merits ensued. On August 31, 1998, the RTC rendered its decision dismissing respondent's complaint.8 It held that the fire was purely accidental; that the cause of the fire was not attributable to the negligence of the petitioner; that it has not been established that petitioner is the debtor of IMC and LSPI; that since the sales invoices state that "it is further agreed that merely for purpose of securing the payment of purchase price, the above-described merchandise remains the property of the vendor until the purchase price is fully paid", IMC and LSPI retained ownership of the delivered goods and must bear the loss. Dissatisfied, petitioner appealed to the CA.9 On October 11, 2000, the CA rendered its decision setting aside the decision of the RTC. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the appealed decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is entered ordering defendant-appellee Gaisano Cagayan, Inc. to pay: 1. the amount of P2,119,205.60 representing the amount paid by the plaintiff-appellant to the insured Inter Capitol Marketing Corporation, plus legal interest from the time of demand until fully paid; 2. the amount of P535,613.00 representing the amount paid by the plaintiff-appellant to the insured Levi Strauss Phil., Inc., plus legal interest from the time of demand until fully paid. With costs against the defendant-appellee. SO ORDERED.10 The CA held that the sales invoices are proofs of sale, being detailed statements of the nature, quantity and cost of the thing sold; that loss of the goods in the fire must be borne by petitioner since the proviso contained in the sales invoices is an exception under Article 1504 (1) of the Civil Code, to the general rule that if the thing is lost by a fortuitous event, the risk is borne by the owner of the thing at the time the loss under the principle of res perit domino; that petitioner's obligation to IMC and LSPI is not the delivery of the lost goods but the payment of its unpaid account and as such the obligation to pay is not extinguished, even if the fire is considered a fortuitous event; that by subrogation, the insurer has the right to go against petitioner; that, being a fire insurance with book debt endorsements, what was insured was the vendor's interest as a creditor.11 Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration12 but it was denied by the CA in its Resolution dated April 11, 2001.13 Hence, the present petition for review on certiorari anchored on the following Assignment of Errors:

THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE INSURANCE IN THE INSTANT CASE WAS ONE OVER CREDIT. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT ALL RISK OVER THE SUBJECT GOODS IN THE INSTANT CASE HAD TRANSFERRED TO PETITIONER UPON DELIVERY THEREOF. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THERE WAS AUTOMATIC SUBROGATION UNDER ART. 2207 OF THE CIVIL CODE IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENT.14 Anent the first error, petitioner contends that the insurance in the present case cannot be deemed to be over credit since an insurance "on credit" belies not only the nature of fire insurance but the express terms of the policies; that it was not credit that was insured since respondent paid on the occasion of the loss of the insured goods to fire and not because of the non-payment by petitioner of any obligation; that, even if the insurance is deemed as one over credit, there was no loss as the accounts were not yet due since no prior demands were made by IMC and LSPI against petitioner for payment of the debt and such demands came from respondent only after it had already paid IMC and LSPI under the fire insurance policies.15 As to the second error, petitioner avers that despite delivery of the goods, petitioner-buyer IMC and LSPI assumed the risk of loss when they secured fire insurance policies over the goods. Concerning the third ground, petitioner submits that there is no subrogation in favor of respondent as no valid insurance could be maintained thereon by IMC and LSPI since all risk had transferred to petitioner upon delivery of the goods; that petitioner was not privy to the insurance contract or the payment between respondent and its insured nor was its consent or approval ever secured; that this lack of privity forecloses any real interest on the part of respondent in the obligation to pay, limiting its interest to keeping the insured goods safe from fire. For its part, respondent counters that while ownership over the ready- made clothing materials was transferred upon delivery to petitioner, IMC and LSPI have insurable interest over said goods as creditors who stand to suffer direct pecuniary loss from its destruction by fire; that petitioner is liable for loss of the ready-made clothing materials since it failed to overcome the presumption of liability under Article 126516 of the Civil Code; that the fire was caused through petitioner's negligence in failing to provide stringent measures of caution, care and maintenance on its property because electric wires do not usually short circuit unless there are defects in their installation or when there is lack of proper maintenance and supervision of the property; that petitioner is guilty of gross and evident bad faith in refusing to pay respondent's valid claim and should be liable to respondent for contracted lawyer's fees, litigation expenses and cost of suit.17 As a general rule, in petitions for review, the jurisdiction of this Court in cases brought before it from the CA is limited to reviewing questions of law which involves no examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the litigants or any of them.18 The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts; it is not its function to analyze or weigh evidence all over again.19 Accordingly, findings of fact of the appellate court are generally conclusive on the Supreme Court.20 Nevertheless, jurisprudence has recognized several exceptions in which factual issues may be resolved by this Court, such as: (1) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of facts are conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the CA went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the findings are contrary to the trial court; (8) when the findings are conclusions

without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; (10) when the findings of fact are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record; and (11) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion.21 Exceptions (4), (5), (7), and (11) apply to the present petition. At issue is the proper interpretation of the questioned insurance policy. Petitioner claims that the CA erred in construing a fire insurance policy on book debts as one covering the unpaid accounts of IMC and LSPI since such insurance applies to loss of the ready-made clothing materials sold and delivered to petitioner. The Court disagrees with petitioner's stand. It is well-settled that when the words of a contract are plain and readily understood, there is no room for construction.22 In this case, the questioned insurance policies provide coverage for "book debts in connection with ready-made clothing materials which have been sold or delivered to various customers and dealers of the Insured anywhere in the Philippines."23 ; and defined book debts as the "unpaid account still appearing in the Book of Account of the Insured 45 days after the time of the loss covered under this Policy."24 Nowhere is it provided in the questioned insurance policies that the subject of the insurance is the goods sold and delivered to the customers and dealers of the insured. Indeed, when the terms of the agreement are clear and explicit that they do not justify an attempt to read into it any alleged intention of the parties, the terms are to be understood literally just as they appear on the face of the contract.25 Thus, what were insured against were the accounts of IMC and LSPI with petitioner which remained unpaid 45 days after the loss through fire, and not the loss or destruction of the goods delivered. Petitioner argues that IMC bears the risk of loss because it expressly reserved ownership of the goods by stipulating in the sales invoices that "[i]t is further agreed that merely for purpose of securing the payment of the purchase price the above described merchandise remains the property of the vendor until the purchase price thereof is fully paid."26 The Court is not persuaded. The present case clearly falls under paragraph (1), Article 1504 of the Civil Code: ART. 1504. Unless otherwise agreed, the goods remain at the seller's risk until the ownership therein is transferred to the buyer, but when the ownership therein is transferred to the buyer the goods are at the buyer's risk whether actual delivery has been made or not, except that: (1) Where delivery of the goods has been made to the buyer or to a bailee for the buyer, in pursuance of the contract and the ownership in the goods has been retained by the seller merely to secure performance by the buyer of his obligations under the contract, the goods are at the buyer's risk from the time of such delivery; (Emphasis supplied) xxxx Thus, when the seller retains ownership only to insure that the buyer will pay its debt, the risk of loss is borne by the buyer.27 Accordingly, petitioner bears the risk of loss of the goods delivered.

IMC and LSPI did not lose complete interest over the goods. They have an insurable interest until full payment of the value of the delivered goods. Unlike the civil law concept of res perit domino, where ownership is the basis for consideration of who bears the risk of loss, in property insurance, one's interest is not determined by concept of title, but whether insured has substantial economic interest in the property.28 Section 13 of our Insurance Code defines insurable interest as "every interest in property, whether real or personal, or any relation thereto, or liability in respect thereof, of such nature that a contemplated peril might directly damnify the insured." Parenthetically, under Section 14 of the same Code, an insurable interest in property may consist in: (a) an existing interest; (b) an inchoate interest founded on existing interest; or (c) an expectancy, coupled with an existing interest in that out of which the expectancy arises. Therefore, an insurable interest in property does not necessarily imply a property interest in, or a lien upon, or possession of, the subject matter of the insurance, and neither the title nor a beneficial interest is requisite to the existence of such an interest, it is sufficient that the insured is so situated with reference to the property that he would be liable to loss should it be injured or destroyed by the peril against which it is insured.29 Anyone has an insurable interest in property who derives a benefit from its existence or would suffer loss from its destruction.30Indeed, a vendor or seller retains an insurable interest in the property sold so long as he has any interest therein, in other words, so long as he would suffer by its destruction, as where he has a vendor's lien.31 In this case, the insurable interest of IMC and LSPI pertain to the unpaid accounts appearing in their Books of Account 45 days after the time of the loss covered by the policies. The next question is: Is petitioner liable for the unpaid accounts? Petitioner's argument that it is not liable because the fire is a fortuitous event under Article 117432 of the Civil Code is misplaced. As held earlier, petitioner bears the loss under Article 1504 (1) of the Civil Code. Moreover, it must be stressed that the insurance in this case is not for loss of goods by fire but for petitioner's accounts with IMC and LSPI that remained unpaid 45 days after the fire. Accordingly, petitioner's obligation is for the payment of money. As correctly stated by the CA, where the obligation consists in the payment of money, the failure of the debtor to make the payment even by reason of a fortuitous event shall not relieve him of his liability.33 The rationale for this is that the rule that an obligor should be held exempt from liability when the loss occurs thru a fortuitous event only holds true when the obligation consists in the delivery of a determinate thing and there is no stipulation holding him liable even in case of fortuitous event. It does not apply when the obligation is pecuniary in nature.34 Under Article 1263 of the Civil Code, "[i]n an obligation to deliver a generic thing, the loss or destruction of anything of the same kind does not extinguish the obligation." If the obligation is generic in the sense that the object thereof is designated merely by its class or genus without any particular designation or physical segregation from all others of the same class, the loss or destruction of anything of the same kind even without the debtor's fault and before he has incurred in delay will not have the effect of extinguishing the obligation.35 This rule is based on the principle that the genus of a thing can never perish. Genus nunquan perit.36 An obligation to pay money is generic; therefore, it is not excused by fortuitous loss of any specific property of the debtor.37 Thus, whether fire is a fortuitous event or petitioner was negligent are matters immaterial to this case. What is relevant here is whether it has been established that petitioner has outstanding accounts with IMC and LSPI.

With respect to IMC, the respondent has adequately established its claim. Exhibits "C" to "C22"38 show that petitioner has an outstanding account with IMC in the amount of P2,119,205.00. Exhibit "E"39 is the check voucher evidencing payment to IMC. Exhibit "F"40 is the subrogation receipt executed by IMC in favor of respondent upon receipt of the insurance proceeds. All these documents have been properly identified, presented and marked as exhibits in court. The subrogation receipt, by itself, is sufficient to establish not only the relationship of respondent as insurer and IMC as the insured, but also the amount paid to settle the insurance claim. The right of subrogation accrues simply upon payment by the insurance company of the insurance claim.41 Respondent's action against petitioner is squarely sanctioned by Article 2207 of the Civil Code which provides: Art. 2207. If the plaintiff's property has been insured, and he has received indemnity from the insurance company for the injury or loss arising out of the wrong or breach of contract complained of, the insurance company shall be subrogated to the rights of the insured against the wrongdoer or the person who has violated the contract. x x x Petitioner failed to refute respondent's evidence. As to LSPI, respondent failed to present sufficient evidence to prove its cause of action. No evidentiary weight can be given to Exhibit "F Levi Strauss",42 a letter dated April 23, 1991 from petitioner's General Manager, Stephen S. Gaisano, Jr., since it is not an admission of petitioner's unpaid account with LSPI. It only confirms the loss of Levi's products in the amount of P535,613.00 in the fire that razed petitioner's building on February 25, 1991. Moreover, there is no proof of full settlement of the insurance claim of LSPI; no subrogation receipt was offered in evidence. Thus, there is no evidence that respondent has been subrogated to any right which LSPI may have against petitioner. Failure to substantiate the claim of subrogation is fatal to petitioner's case for recovery of the amount of P535,613.00. WHEREFORE, the petition is partly GRANTED. The assailed Decision dated October 11, 2000 and Resolution dated April 11, 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 61848 are AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATIONthat the order to pay the amount of P535,613.00 to respondent is DELETED for lack of factual basis. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 124520 August 18, 1997 Spouses NILO CHA and STELLA UY CHA, and UNITED INSURANCE CO., INC., petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CKS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, respondents.

PADILLA, J.: This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeks to set aside a decision of respondent Court of Appeals. The undisputed facts of the case are as follows: 1. Petitioner-spouses Nilo Cha and Stella Uy-Cha, as lessees, entered into a lease contract with private respondent CKS Development Corporation (hereinafter CKS), as lessor, on 5 October 1988. 2. One of the stipulations of the one (1) year lease contract states:
18. . . . The LESSEE shall not insure against fire the chattels, merchandise, textiles, goods and effects placed at any stall or store or space in the leased premises without first obtaining the written consent and approval of the LESSOR. If the LESSEE obtain(s) the insurance thereof without the consent of the LESSOR then the policy is deemed assigned and transferred to the LESSOR for its own benefit; . . . 1

3. Notwithstanding the above stipulation in the lease contract, the Cha spouses insured against loss by fire the merchandise inside the leased premises for Five Hundred Thousand (P500,000.00) with the United Insurance Co., Inc. (hereinafter United) without the written consent of private respondent CKS. 4. On the day that the lease contract was to expire, fire broke out inside the leased premises. 5. When CKS learned of the insurance earlier procured by the Cha spouses (without its consent), it wrote the insurer (United) a demand letter asking that the proceeds of the insurance contract (between the Cha spouses and United) be paid directly to CKS, based on its lease contract with the Cha spouses. 6. United refused to pay CKS. Hence, the latter filed a complaint against the Cha spouses and United. 7. On 2 June 1992, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 6, Manila, rendered a decision * ordering therein defendant United to pay CKS the amount of P335,063.11 and defendant Cha spouses to pay P50,000.00 as exemplary damages, P20,000.00 as attorney's fees and costs of suit. 8. On appeal, respondent Court of Appeals in CA GR CV No. 39328 rendered a decision ** dated 11 January 1996, affirming the trial court decision, deleting however the awards for exemplary damages and attorney's fees. A motion for reconsideration by United was denied on 29 March 1996. In the present petition, the following errors are assigned by petitioners to the Court of Appeals:

I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE THAT THE STIPULATION IN THE CONTRACT OF LEASE TRANSFERRING THE PROCEEDS OF THE INSURANCE TO RESPONDENT IS NULL AND VOID FOR BEING CONTRARY TO LAW, MORALS AND PUBLIC POLICY II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE THE CONTRACT OF LEASE ENTERED INTO AS A CONTRACT OF ADHESION AND THEREFORE THE QUESTIONABLE PROVISION THEREIN TRANSFERRING THE PROCEEDS OF THE INSURANCE TO RESPONDENT MUST BE RULED OUT IN FAVOR OF PETITIONER III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AWARDING PROCEEDS OF AN INSURANCE POLICY TO APPELLEE WHICH IS NOT PRIVY TO THE SAID POLICY IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE INSURANCE LAW IV
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AWARDING PROCEEDS OF AN INSURANCE POLICY ON THE BASIS OF A STIPULATION WHICH IS VOID FOR BEING WITHOUT CONSIDERATION AND FOR BEING TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON THE WILL OF THE RESPONDENT CORPORATION. 2

The core issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not the aforequoted paragraph 18 of the lease contract entered into between CKS and the Cha spouses is valid insofar as it provides that any fire insurance policy obtained by the lessee (Cha spouses) over their merchandise inside the leased premises is deemed assigned or transferred to the lessor (CKS) if said policy is obtained without the prior written consent of the latter. It is, of course, basic in the law on contracts that the stipulations contained in a contract cannot be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. 3 Sec. 18 of the Insurance Code provides: Sec. 18. No contract or policy of insurance on property shall be enforceable except for the benefit of some person having an insurable interest in the property insured. A non-life insurance policy such as the fire insurance policy taken by petitioner-spouses over their merchandise is primarily a contract of indemnity. Insurable interest in the property insured must exist at the time the insurance takes effect and at the time the loss occurs. 4 The basis of such requirement of insurable interest in property insured is based on sound public policy: to prevent a person from taking out an insurance policy on property upon which he has no insurable interest and collecting the proceeds of said policy in case of loss of the property. In such a case, the contract of insurance is a mere wager which is void under Section 25 of the Insurance Code, which provides:

Sec. 25. Every stipulation in a policy of Insurance for the payment of loss, whether the person insured has or has not any interest in the property insured, or that the policy shall be received as proof of such interest, and every policy executed by way of gaming or wagering, is void. In the present case, it cannot be denied that CKS has no insurable interest in the goods and merchandise inside the leased premises under the provisions of Section 17 of the Insurance Code which provide: Sec. 17. The measure of an insurable interest in property is the extent to which the insured might be damnified by loss of injury thereof. Therefore, respondent CKS cannot, under the Insurance Code a special law be validly a beneficiary of the fire insurance policy taken by the petitioner-spouses over their merchandise. This insurable interest over said merchandise remains with the insured, the Cha spouses. The automatic assignment of the policy to CKS under the provision of the lease contract previously quoted is void for being contrary to law and/or public policy. The proceeds of the fire insurance policy thus rightfully belong to the spouses Nilo Cha and Stella Uy-Cha (herein co-petitioners). The insurer (United) cannot be compelled to pay the proceeds of the fire insurance policy to a person (CKS) who has no insurable interest in the property insured. The liability of the Cha spouses to CKS for violating their lease contract in that the Cha spouses obtained a fire insurance policy over their own merchandise, without the consent of CKS, is a separate and distinct issue which we do not resolve in this case. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 39328 is SET ASIDE and a new decision is hereby entered, awarding the proceeds of the fire insurance policy to petitioners Nilo Cha and Stella Uy-Cha. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 85141 November 28, 1989 FILIPINO MERCHANTS INSURANCE CO., INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CHOA TIEK SENG, respondents. Balgos & Perez Law Offices for petitioner. Lapuz Law office for private respondent.

REGALADO, J.: This is a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals, promulgated on July 19,1988, the dispositive part of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is affirmed insofar as it orders defendant Filipino Merchants Insurance Company to pay the plaintiff the sum of P51,568.62 with interest at legal rate from the date of filing of the complaint, and is modified with respect to the third party complaint in that (1) third party defendant E. Razon, Inc. is ordered to reimburse third party plaintiff the sum of P25,471.80 with legal interest from the date of payment until the date of reimbursement, and (2) the third-party complaint against third party defendant Compagnie Maritime Des Chargeurs Reunis is dismissed. 1

The facts as found by the trial court and adopted by the Court of Appeals are as follows:
This is an action brought by the consignee of the shipment of fishmeal loaded on board the vessel SS Bougainville and unloaded at the Port of Manila on or about December 11, 1976 and seeks to recover from the defendant insurance company the amount of P51,568.62 representing damages to said shipment which has been insured by the defendant insurance company under Policy No. M-2678. The defendant brought a third party complaint against third party defendants Compagnie Maritime Des Chargeurs Reunis and/or E. Razon, Inc. seeking judgment against the third (sic) defendants in case Judgment is rendered against the third party plaintiff. It appears from the evidence presented that in December 1976, plaintiff insured said shipment with defendant insurance company under said cargo Policy No. M-2678 for the sum of P267,653.59 for the goods described as 600 metric tons of fishmeal in new gunny bags of 90 kilos each from Bangkok, Thailand to Manila against all risks under warehouse to warehouse terms. Actually, what was imported was 59.940 metric tons not 600 tons at $395.42 a ton CNF Manila. The fishmeal in 666 new gunny bags were unloaded from the ship on December 11, 1976 at Manila unto the arrastre contractor E. Razon, Inc. and defendant's surveyor ascertained and certified that in such discharge 105 bags were in bad order condition as jointly surveyed by the ship's agent and the arrastre contractor. The condition of the bad order was reflected in the turn over survey report of Bad Order cargoes Nos. 120320 to 120322, as Exhibit C-4 consisting of three (3) pages which are also Exhibits 4, 5 and 6Razon. The cargo was also surveyed by the arrastre contractor before delivery of the cargo to the consignee and the condition of the cargo on such delivery was reflected in E. Razon's Bad Order Certificate No. 14859, 14863 and 14869 covering a total of 227 bags in bad order condition. Defendant's surveyor has conducted a final and detailed survey of the cargo in the warehouse for which he prepared a survey report Exhibit F with the findings on the extent of shortage or loss on the bad order bags totalling 227 bags amounting to 12,148 kilos, Exhibit F-1. Based on said computation the plaintiff made a

formal claim against the defendant Filipino Merchants Insurance Company for P51,568.62 (Exhibit C) the computation of which claim is contained therein. A formal claim statement was also presented by the plaintiff against the vessel dated December 21, 1976, Exhibit B, but the defendant Filipino Merchants Insurance Company refused to pay the claim. Consequently, the plaintiff brought an action against said defendant as adverted to above and defendant presented a third party complaint against the vessel and the arrastre contractor. 2

The court below, after trial on the merits, rendered judgment in favor of private respondent, the decretal portion whereof reads: WHEREFORE, on the main complaint, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant Filipino Merchant's (sic) Insurance Co., ordering the defendants to pay the plaintiff the following amount: The sum of P51,568.62 with interest at legal rate from the date of the filing of the complaint; On the third party complaint, the third party defendant Compagnie Maritime Des Chargeurs Reunis and third party defendant E. Razon, Inc. are ordered to pay to the third party plaintiff jointly and severally reimbursement of the amounts paid by the third party plaintiff with legal interest from the date of such payment until the date of such reimbursement.
Without pronouncement as to costs. 3

On appeal, the respondent court affirmed the decision of the lower court insofar as the award on the complaint is concerned and modified the same with regard to the adjudication of the third-party complaint. A motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid decision was denied, hence this petition with the following assignment of errors: 1. The Court of Appeals erred in its interpretation and application of the "all risks" clause of the marine insurance policy when it held the petitioner liable to the private respondent for the partial loss of the cargo, notwithstanding the clear absence of proof of some fortuitous event, casualty, or accidental cause to which the loss is attributable, thereby contradicting the very precedents cited by it in its decision as well as a prior decision of the same Division of the said court (then composed of Justices Cacdac, Castro-Bartolome, and Pronove); 2. The Court of Appeals erred in not holding that the private respondent had no insurable interest in the subject cargo, hence, the marine insurance policy taken out by private respondent is null and void;
3. The Court of Appeals erred in not holding that the private respondent was guilty of fraud in not disclosing the fact, it being bound out of utmost good faith to do so, that it had no insurable interest in the subject cargo, which bars its recovery on the policy. 4

On the first assignment of error, petitioner contends that an "all risks" marine policy has a technical meaning in insurance in that before a claim can be compensable it is essential that there must be "some fortuity, " "casualty" or "accidental cause" to which the alleged loss is attributable and the failure of herein private respondent, upon whom lay the burden, to adduce evidence showing that

the alleged loss to the cargo in question was due to a fortuitous event precludes his right to recover from the insurance policy. We find said contention untenable. The "all risks clause" of the Institute Cargo Clauses read as follows:
5. This insurance is against all risks of loss or damage to the subject-matter insured but shall in no case be deemed to extend to cover loss, damage, or expense proximately caused by delay or inherent vice or nature of the subject-matter insured. Claims recoverable hereunder shall be payable irrespective of percentage. 5

An "all risks policy" should be read literally as meaning all risks whatsoever and covering all losses by an accidental cause of any kind. The terms "accident" and "accidental", as used in insurance contracts, have not acquired any technical meaning. They are construed by the courts in their ordinary and common acceptance. Thus, the terms have been taken to mean that which happens by chance or fortuitously, without intention and design, and which is unexpected, unusual and unforeseen. An accident is an event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation; an event that proceeds from an unknown cause, or is an unusual effect of a known cause and, therefore, not expected. 6 The very nature of the term "all risks" must be given a broad and comprehensive meaning as covering any loss other than a willful and fraudulent act of the insured. 7 This is pursuant to the very purpose of an "all risks" insurance to give protection to the insured in those cases where difficulties of logical explanation or some mystery surround the loss or damage to property. 8 An "all asks" policy has been evolved to grant greater protection than that afforded by the "perils clause," in order to assure that no loss can happen through the incidence of a cause neither insured against nor creating liability in the ship; it is written against all losses, that is, attributable to external causes. 9 The term "all risks" cannot be given a strained technical meaning, the language of the clause under the Institute Cargo Clauses being unequivocal and clear, to the effect that it extends to all damages/losses suffered by the insured cargo except (a) loss or damage or expense proximately caused by delay, and (b) loss or damage or expense proximately caused by the inherent vice or nature of the subject matter insured. Generally, the burden of proof is upon the insured to show that a loss arose from a covered peril, but under an "all risks" policy the burden is not on the insured to prove the precise cause of loss or damage for which it seeks compensation. The insured under an "all risks insurance policy" has the initial burden of proving that the cargo was in good condition when the policy attached and that the cargo was damaged when unloaded from the vessel; thereafter, the burden then shifts to the insurer to show the exception to the coverage. 10 As we held in Paris-Manila Perfumery Co. vs. Phoenix Assurance Co., Ltd. 11 the basic rule is that the insurance company has the burden of proving that the loss is caused by the risk excepted and for want of such proof, the company is liable. Coverage under an "all risks" provision of a marine insurance policy creates a special type of insurance which extends coverage to risks not usually contemplated and avoids putting upon the insured the burden of establishing that the loss was due to the peril falling within the policy's coverage; the insurer can avoid coverage upon demonstrating that a specific provision expressly excludes the loss from coverage. 12 A marine insurance policy providing that the insurance was to be "against all risks" must be construed as creating a special insurance and extending to other risks than are usually contemplated, and covers all losses except such as arise from the fraud of the insured. 13 The burden of the insured, therefore, is to prove merely that the goods he transported have been lost, destroyed or deteriorated. Thereafter, the burden is shifted to the insurer to prove that the loss was due to excepted perils. To impose on the insured the burden of proving the precise

cause of the loss or damage would be inconsistent with the broad protective purpose of "all risks" insurance. In the present case, there being no showing that the loss was caused by any of the excepted perils, the insurer is liable under the policy. As aptly stated by the respondent Court of Appeals, upon due consideration of the authorities and jurisprudence it discussed ... it is believed that in the absence of any showing that the losses/damages were caused by an excepted peril, i.e. delay or the inherent vice or nature of the subject matter insured, and there is no such showing, the lower court did not err in holding that the loss was covered by the policy.
There is no evidence presented to show that the condition of the gunny bags in which the fishmeal was packed was such that they could not hold their contents in the course of the necessary transit, much less any evidence that the bags of cargo had burst as the result of the weakness of the bags themselves. Had there been such a showing that spillage would have been a certainty, there may have been good reason to plead that there was no risk covered by the policy (See Berk vs. Style [1956] cited in Marine Insurance Claims, Ibid, p. 125). Under an 'all risks' policy, it was sufficient to show that there was damage occasioned by some accidental cause of any kind, and there is no necessity to point to any particular cause. 14

Contracts of insurance are contracts of indemnity upon the terms and conditions specified in the policy. The agreement has the force of law between the parties. The terms of the policy constitute the measure of the insurer's liability. If such terms are clear and unambiguous, they must be taken and understood in their plain, ordinary and popular sense. 15 Anent the issue of insurable interest, we uphold the ruling of the respondent court that private respondent, as consignee of the goods in transit under an invoice containing the terms under "C & F Manila," has insurable interest in said goods. Section 13 of the Insurance Code defines insurable interest in property as every interest in property, whether real or personal, or any relation thereto, or liability in respect thereof, of such nature that a contemplated peril might directly damnify the insured. In principle, anyone has an insurable interest in property who derives a benefit from its existence or would suffer loss from its destruction whether he has or has not any title in, or lien upon or possession of the property y. 16 Insurable interest in property may consist in (a) an existing interest; (b) an inchoate interest founded on an existing interest; or (c) an expectancy, coupled with an existing interest in that out of which the expectancy arises. 17 Herein private respondent, as vendee/consignee of the goods in transit has such existing interest therein as may be the subject of a valid contract of insurance. His interest over the goods is based on the perfected contract of sale. 18 The perfected contract of sale between him and the shipper of the goods operates to vest in him an equitable title even before delivery or before be performed the conditions of the sale. 19 The contract of shipment, whether under F.O.B., C.I.F., or C. & F. as in this case, is immaterial in the determination of whether the vendee has an insurable interest or not in the goods in transit. The perfected contract of sale even without delivery vests in the vendee an equitable title, an existing interest over the goods sufficient to be the subject of insurance. Further, Article 1523 of the Civil Code provides that where, in pursuance of a contract of sale, the seller is authorized or required to send the goods to the buyer, delivery of the goods to a carrier, whether named by the buyer or not, for, the purpose of transmission to the buyer is deemed to be a

delivery of the goods to the buyer, the exceptions to said rule not obtaining in the present case. The Court has heretofore ruled that the delivery of the goods on board the carrying vessels partake of the nature of actual delivery since, from that time, the foreign buyers assumed the risks of loss of the goods and paid the insurance premium covering them. 20 C & F contracts are shipment contracts. The term means that the price fixed includes in a lump sum the cost of the goods and freight to the named destination. 21 It simply means that the seller must pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named destination but the risk of loss or damage to the goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment. 22 Moreover, the issue of lack of insurable interest was not among the defenses averred in petitioners answer. It was neither an issue agreed upon by the parties at the pre-trial conference nor was it raised during the trial in the court below. It is a settled rule that an issue which has not been raised in the court a quo cannot be raised for the first time on appeal as it would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice and due process. 23 This is but a permuted restatement of the long settled rule that when a party deliberately adopts a certain theory, and the case is tried and decided upon that theory in the court below, he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal because, to permit him to do so, would be unfair to the adverse party. 24 If despite the fundamental doctrines just stated, we nevertheless decided to indite a disquisition on the issue of insurable interest raised by petitioner, it was to put at rest all doubts on the matter under the facts in this case and also to dispose of petitioner's third assignment of error which consequently needs no further discussion. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto. SO ORDERED.