|Case Date:||August 21, 1989|
South Carolina Attorney General Opinions 1989. AGO 89-84. 220 August 21, 1989OPINION NO. 89-84An insured's or applicant for insurance's check returned from the bank to the agent "stop payment" or "insufficient funds" appears to be the same as a insured's or applicant for insurance's failure to pay as contemplated by the provisions of Section 38-43-440. Whether a dishonored check meets all of the requirements of Section 38-43-440 to warrant an insurance company to honor a request for cancellation of the related policy would require a factual analysis beyond the scope of this Office.TO: Member, House of RepresentativesFROM: Charles W. Gambrell, Jr.
Deputy Attorney GeneralIn a letter to this Office, you state:
I would like an Attorney General's opinion on the following question with reference to Sections 38-51-410, 38-51-420 and 38-51-440:
Should a designated carrier insurance company honor a request for policy cancellation from a designated agent when all or part of the premium payment to the agent was made with a check returned from the bank to the agent "stop payment" or "insufficient funds," the221
agent having already remitted the premium payment to the company?Apparently, you intended to reference Sections 38-43-410, 38-43-420, and 38-43-440 South Carolina Code of Laws Ann., 1976, because 1987 S.C. Acts 155, § 1 recodified former Sections 38-51-410, 38-51-420, and 38-51-440 as sections 38-43-410, 38-43-420, and 38-43-440, respectively. Of course, statutory construction is, ultimately, the province of the courts. Johnson v. Pratt, 200 S.C. 315, 20 S.E.2d 865 (1942). In interpreting a statute, the primary purpose is to ascertain the intent of the legislature. State v. Martin, 293 S.C. 46, 358 S.E.2d 697 (1987); Multi-Cinema, Ltd. v. South Carolina Tax Commission, 292 S.C. 411, 357 S.E.2d 6 (1987). When interpreting a statute, the legislative intent must prevail if it can be reasonably discovered in the language used, which must be construed in the light of the intended purpose of the statutes. Gambrell v. Travelers Ins. Cos., 280 S.C. 69, 310 S.E.2d 814 (1983). Where a statute is clear and unambiguous, there is no room for construction and the terms of the statute must be given their literal meaning. Duke Power Co. v. South Carolina Tax Commission, 292 S.C. 64, 354 S.E.2d 902 (1987). In interpreting a statute, the language of the statute must be read in a sense which harmonizes with its subject matter and accords with its general purpose. Multi-Cinema, Ltd. v. South Carolina Tax Commission, supra. In determining the meaning of a statute, it is the duty of the court to give force and effect to all parts of the...
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