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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
BEARD v. CALVERT FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY.
42110.
Action on insurance policy. Richmond City Court. Before Judge Chambers.
FELTON, Chief Judge.
1. The 1960 Insurance Code (Ch. 56-12) authorizes service on a foreign insurance company by leaving the petition and process at the company's place of transacting its usual and ordinary public business within the court's jurisdiction.
2. The evidence authorized the finding that the defendant company transacted a sufficient amount of its business at the office at which the process was left to constitute said office as its usual and ordinary place of business for the purpose of service.
Wilhelm)." The defendant filed a traverse of entry of service and plea in abatement on the ground that the above address is not the place that it transacts its usual and ordinary business in Augusta. There was evidence as follows: That the defendant and Commercial Credit Corporation are wholly owned subsidiaries of Commercial Credit Company; that Commercial Credit Corporation maintains an office and place of transacting business at 1115 Reynolds Street; that approximately 90% of all insurance business written by the defendant is generated through Commercial Credit Corporation, the volume of business from their Reynolds Street office amounting to approximately $1.5 million yearly; that the defendant had, as required by the Georgia Insurance Commissioner, designated two of Commercial Credit Corporation's employees, Wilhelm and Hottle, as its agents for accepting applications for its insurance; that said agents receive no salary or compensation from defendant; that said agents maintain their offices at 1115 Reynolds Street, from which office they receive the applications (sometimes assisting in filling them out), determine the premiums to be charged, collect the premiums, send the applications and premiums to the defendant, receive notices of losses, and fill out reports of losses and claims for the defendant's insureds; that, although not all of the automobiles financed by Commercial Credit Corporation are insured by the defendant, when the customers have no preference, applications are normally sent to the defendant company; that, although defendant's adjusters work out of various places, such as garages and body shops, they frequently work out of the 1115 Reynolds Street office in handling the approximately 350 claims per year, there picking up the loss reports, meeting with policyholders, completing forms, making and receiving telephone calls, inspecting automobiles, negotiating and settling claims, etc.; that the defendant's adjusters are permitted to use the facilities of said office, including any desks not in use, in conducting their business.
1. The 1960 Insurance Code (Code Ann. Ch. 56-12) authorizes service on a foreign insurance company by methods of service provided by law other than in the Insurance Code, hence on its local agent, as provided by Code 22-1101 (Ga. L. 1845, Cobb, 475), as well as on the appointed process agent. Aetna Cas. &c. Co. v. Sampley, 108 Ga. App. 617, 620 (3) (134 SE2d 71). Code 22-1101 also provides for service "by leaving the same at the place of transacting the usual and ordinary public business of such corporation, if any such place of business then shall be within the jurisdiction of the court in which said suit may be commenced."
2. "The" place is not construed as being restricted to the sole place of business. The evidence in this case was sufficient to authorize the finding that, although the defendant foreign insurer conducted some of its business in various places, such as garages and body shops, it transacted a sufficient amount of its "usual and ordinary public business" at the office at which the process was left to constitute said office as its usual and ordinary place of business for the purpose of service.
Accordingly, the court erred in its judgment directing a verdict in favor of the defendant.
Fulcher, Fulcher, Hagler, Harper & Reed, Gould B. Hagler, for appellee.
Allgood & Childs, Thomas F. Allgood, for appellant.
ARGUED JUNE 7, 1966 -- DECIDED SEPTEMBER 6, 1966.
Friday May 22 19:54 EDT


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