Proctor v. Insurance Co. of North America

In Proctor v. Insurance Co. of North America, 714 P.2d 1156 (Utah 1986), two claimants disputed the disbursement of the proceeds of two insurance policies. See id. at 1157. The policies did not name a beneficiary by name, but they both insured the "member and spouse." Id. At the time the policies were purchased, the insured was married to his second wife. His divorce, however, from his first wife was not finalized until nine months after his ceremony of marriage to his second wife. Thus, the second marriage was illegal. See id. at 1158. In response to the first wife's contention that her minor daughter was the rightful claimant under the policy, the court held that the principles of contract and insurance governed in this instance, and since the second wife was clearly the intended beneficiary, she should receive the proceeds of the policy. See id. The court in Proctor noted, among other things, that the insured was required to pay additional premiums for coverage for his "spouse." See id. at 1159.