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EAGLE INS. CO. V. OHIO, 153 U. S. 446 (1894)

U.S. Supreme Court

Eagle Ins. Co. v. Ohio, 153 U.S. 446 (1894)

Eagle Insurance Company v. Ohio

No. 1051

Argued April 20, 1894

Decided May 14, 1894

153 U.S. 446


A state statute requiring insurance companies to make full and specified returns to the proper state officers of their business condition, liabilities, losses, premiums, taxes, dividends, expenses, etc., is an exercise of the police power of the state, and may be enforced against a company organized under a special charter from the legislature of the state which does not in terms require it to make such return without thereby depriving it of any of its rights under the Constitution of the United States.

The insurance company, plaintiff in error, was incorporated on March 22, 1850, by an act of the General Assembly of Ohio, * 48 Ohio Laws 498. Sections 3654 and 3655 of the Revised Statutes of Ohio read as follows:

Page 153 U. S. 447

"SEC. 3654. The President or vice-President and secretary of each insurance company organized under any law of this

Page 153 U. S. 448

state shall, annually, on the first day of January or within thirty days thereafter, prepare, under oath, and deposit in the

Page 153 U. S. 449

office of the superintendent of insurance a statement of the condition of such company on the thirty-first day of December,

Page 153 U. S. 450

then next preceding, exhibiting the following facts and items, and in the following form, namely:"

"First -- The amount of the capital stock of the company, specifying the amount paid and unpaid."

"Second -- The property or assets held by the company, specifying:"

"1. The value of the real estate owned by such company, where it is situated, and the value of buildings thereon."

"2. The amount of cash on hand and deposited in banks to the credit of the company, specifying in what banks the same is deposited."

"3. The amount of cash in the hands of agents and in course of transmission."

"4. The amount of loans secured by bonds and mortgages, which are the first lien on real estate, and on which there is less than one year's interest due."

"5. The amount of loans on which interest has not been paid within one year."

"6. The amount due the company on which judgments have been obtained, and the cash value thereof."

"7. The amount of stocks in this state, the United States, of any City of this state, and of any other stocks owned by the company, specifying the amount, number of shares, and the par and market value of each kind of stock."

"8. The amount of stock held as collateral security for loans, with the amount loaned on, and the par and market value of each kind of stock."

"9. The amount of unpaid assessments on stock, premium notes, or contingent liabilities."

"10. The amount of interest due and unpaid, and the amount of interest accrued, but not due. "

Page 153 U. S. 451

"11. The amount of premium notes or contingent liabilities on which policies are issued."

"12. The number of policies in force."

"13. The amount insured under all policies in force."

"14. The amount of premiums received thereon."

"15. The amount and a description of all other assets."

"Third -- The liabilities of the company, specifying:"

"1. The amount of losses due and unpaid."

"2. The amount of claims for losses resisted by the company."

"3. The amount of losses incurred during the year, including those claimed and not due, and those reported to the company upon which no action has been taken."

"4. The amount of dividends declared and due, and remaining unpaid."

"5. The amount of dividends, either cash or scrip, declared but not due."

"6. The amount of money borrowed, and the security given for the payment thereof."

"7. The amount required for a reinsurance, being in stock companies a sum equal to fifty percent of the whole amount of premiums on unexpired risks and policies, and in mutual companies a sum equal to fifty percent of the cash premiums received on unexpired risks and policies."

"8. The amount of all other existing claims against the company."

"Fourth -- The income of the company during the preceding year, specifying:"

"1. The amount of cash premiums received."

"2. The amount of notes or contingent assets received for premiums."

"3. The amount of interest money received."

"4. The amount of income received from other sources."

"Fifth -- The expenditure during the preceding year, specifying:"

"1. The amount of losses paid during the year, stating how much of the same accrued prior, and how much subsequent to the date of the preceding statement, and the amount at which losses were estimated in each preceding statement. "

Page 153 U. S. 452

"2. The amount of dividends paid during the year."

"3. The amount of expenses paid during the year, including commissions and fees to agents and officers of the company."

"4. The amount paid for taxes."

"5. The amount of all payments and expenditures."

"6. Amount of scrip dividend declared."

"* * * *"

"SEC. 3655. The statement of any such company, the capital of which is composed in whole or in part of notes, shall, in addition to the foregoing, exhibit the amount of notes which originally formed the capital, and also what proportion of such notes is still held by the company and considered capital, and every company organized under any law of this state which fails to make and deposit such statement, or to reply to any inquiry of the superintendent with respect to such statement, shall be subject to a penalty of five hundred dollars, and an additional five hundred dollars for every month that it continues thereafter to transact any business of insurance, to be recovered by action in the name of the state, and, on collection, paid into the state treasury for the benefit of the state common school fund, and the Attorney General, on the request of the Superintendent of Insurance, shall institute such action against any company so delinquent, in the court of appropriate jurisdiction in Franklin County, or in the court of appropriate jurisdiction of the county in which said company is located or has its principal place of business, as he prefers."

Under these sections, proper blanks were furnished to the company by the state Superintendent of Insurance, and, on its refusal to make the returns required by law, proceedings by mandamus were begun against it. The defense was that the above provisions impaired the obligation of the contract which grew out of its charter. Upon the decision of the supreme court of the state making the writ peremptory, the case was brought here by error.

Page 153 U. S. 453

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