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The phrase "as soon as practicable" is an elastic one, not to be defined in a vacuum. By no means does it connote an ironbound requirement that notice be "immediate" or even "prompt," relative as even those concepts often are; "soon," a term close to each of these in common parlance, is expressly qualified in the policy here by the word "practicable." Nor was compliance with the insurance policy's temporal requirement to be measured simply by how long it was before written notification came forth. More crucial was the reason it took the time it did. So, the provision that notice be given "as soon as practicable" called for a determination of what was within a reasonable time in the light of the facts and circumstances of the case at hand.
A representative of the insured contacted an insurance agent after a football player was injured after a game. The insurance agent told the representative to file the claim under one of two policies covering the corporation. Thereafter, approximately seven months later, the representative was told he had filed under the wrong policy and, for the first time, written notice was sent to the insurer. The insurer contested the determination that notice under the terms of the sport corporation's insurance policy had been given " as soon as practicable." The lower court held that the insurer was required to indemnify the insured. The insurer sought review of the decision.
Under the circumstances, did the insured give proper notice to the insurer?
The court affirmed the decision, holding that the insured had given proper notice. The court held that the insurance agent had a working relationship with the insurer, that notice to this agent constituted notice to the insurer, and that notice was transmitted within a reasonable time by the insured.