Note: BEHAM'S INSURANCE POLICY. New York Official Talks About the Payment of the Money. NEW YORK, June 29. - Rather than carry a risk on a policy holder who had been sentenced to death, the New York Life Insurance Company settled the other day a claim of several thousand dollars apparently about to become due on the policy of Howard C. BENHAM of Batavia, who was convicted of killing his wife, and sentenced to die in the electric chair. The payment of the insurance company to a bank up the state to which BENHAM had assigned his police established a precedent, but the most interesting feature of the case for insurance men generally came when BENHAM got a new trial and was acquitted. Then people in the insurance business began to wonder what the New York Life Company would do about it. General Solicitor HUBBELL of that company says that nothing will be done about it. "The case is closed," he said, "and it was the first of the kind ever heard of in the insurance business. BENHAM has assigned his policy to some bank, so the payment was not made to him. Inasmuch as he was not actually dead at the time, the company settled for a little less than the face value of the policy. But that was immaterial. It was a matter of sentiment more than one of dollars and cents. The company did not like the idea of carrying a policy on a man convicted of the vilest sort of crime and actually sentenced to death. "If he had died in the electric chair and there had been no previous settlement of the claim the full amount of the insurance would have belonged to the state just the same as if he had died a natural death, for our policies are without conditions. Suicide or legal killing does not make them void. If it is proved that the beneficiary murdered the person holding a policy the contract then becomes void, but that is the only condition ever made."
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