Insurance Law, Pages 27–29

MacKenzie v. Prudential Insurance Company of America

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1969


Plaintiff was the beneficiary of her husband's life insurance policy with defendant. He was asked if he had had any heart trouble or high blood pressure when he applied, which he had not. However, he then got hit in the chest before the policy was actually delivered, and they discovered that he did have slight high blood pressure.

When he died, defendant denied paying out on the policy because Mr. MacKenzie did not report his high blood pressure.

Procedural History:

District court granted summary judgment for the defendant.


Did the decedent have to disclose his high blood pressure?


If Mr. MacKenzie did tell defendant that his blood pressure went up, they would not have delivered the policy. This was clearly material.


Material changes between applying for insurance and the insurance being delivered must be reported to the insurance company.