David and Nancy Songer planned to travel outside the United States and wanted to acquire medical insurance prior to departure. They spoke with an agent of Continental who requested that Nancy Songer undergo a medical examination based on a statement that she had a heart murmur. She promptly complied, and the Songers later met with the agent to complete the application. David Songer signed the application and tendered a check for the first six months’ premium. The Songers also claim that the agent stated that a “binder” was in effect such that policy coverage was available immediately. The agent subsequently denied making this statement, relying, instead, on a clause in the contract that required home office acceptance. The Songers left the United States and sixty days later inquired as to the status of their application. At approximately the same time, Continental denied the application and sent a refund to the Songers. Nancy Songer was then severely injured in an automobile accident. When Continental refused to honor the policy, the Songers claimed that the oral representation constituted part of the contract due to the vagueness of the policy “acceptance” language. Is the evidence regarding the oral representations admissible? Why or why not?
As per the Parol Evidence Rule, if all the terms and conditions of the agreement is clearly mentioned in a written and signed format, the prior evidence is not included in the context of that contract. Therefore, it leads to the acceptance of the relevant evidence in the context of oral representation.
The contract is valid because the statement of the agent in the context of the effect of the medical policy varies from the terms and conditions related to the policy that was mentioned and signed by Individual S. As per the applicability of the Parol Evidence Rule, the agent statement can be regarded as a temporary contract.
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