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Insular Life Assurance Company v.

Ebrado
G.R. No. L-44059 Oct. 28, 1977
Justice Martin
Facts:
Buenaventura Ebrado, married to Pascuala Ebrado, procured a life insurance policy with Insular
Life Assurance Co., with the rider for accidental death benefit. However, Buenaventura named his
common-law wife, Carponia Ebrado, as his beneficiary in said policy. When Buenaventura died, Carponia
tried to claim the proceeds of the policy, but Pascuala objected. Unable to decide as to whom of the two
claimants has the legal right to the claim, Insular Life filed an interpleader with the trial court. After trial,
the court rendered a decision in favor of Pascuala based on the last paragraph of Art. 739 of the Civil
Code. On appeal, the appellate court certified the case to the Supreme Court as involving question of
law.
Issue:
WON a common-law wife name as beneficiary in the life insurance policy of a legally married
man claim the proceeds thereof in the case of death of the latter.
Held:
No, she cannot. On matters not otherwise specifically provided for by the Insurance Law, the
contract of life insurance is governed by general rules of civil law (Art. 2011 of the New Civil Code). And
under Art. 2012 of the same Code, any person who is forbidden from receiving any donation under
Article 739 cannot be named beneficiary of a life insurance policy by a person who cannot make a
donation to him. Common-law spouses are, definitely, barred from receiving donations from each
other. In essence, a life insurance policy is no different from a civil donation insofar as the beneficiary is
concerned. Both are founded upon the same consideration: liberality. A beneficiary is like a done,
because the premiums of the policy which the insured pays out of liberality, the beneficiary will receive
the proceeds or profits of said insurance. Moreover, a conviction for adultery or concubinage is not
necessary before the disabilities mentioned in Art. 739 may effectuate.