International Styles

Legal Effect of Agents' Opinions on the Meaning of Provisions in the Contract

In the course of their daily business. agents are frequently asked to express opinions on the meaning of policy provisions, and it is of the utmost importance that definite relations should exist between the company and its agents as regards the expression of such opinions. What, then, is the legal effect of the agent's opinion? The general rule is that no legal effect can be given to such opinions in case, for example, they result in misleading the insured as to the meaning of any policy provision. This view is based on the theory that an agent's opinion as to the meaning of any section of the contract does not create new or change old obligations.

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