1. 생명보험계약은 사람의 생명에 관한 우연한 사고에 대하여 금전을 지급하기로 약정하는 것이어서 금전취득 목적으로 고의로 피보험자를 살해하는 등의 도덕적 위험의 우려가 있으므로, 그 계약 체결에 관하여 신의성실의 원칙에 기한 선의(선의계약성)가 강하게 요청된다.

Because a life insurance contract is an arrangement under which certain amount of money is to be paid upon an accidental occurrence of an insured event, there are concerns of moral hazard of intentionally murdering the insured for the purpose of receiving the insurance proceeds, therefore there is a strong demand for good faith in executing a life insurance contract (i.e., bona fide execution of the contract). 


2. 당초부터 오로지 보험사고를 가장하여 보험금을 취득할 목적으로 생명보험계약을 체결한 경우에는 사람의 생명을 수단으로 이득을 취하고자 하는 불법적인 행위를 유발할 위험성이 크고, 이런 목적으로 체결된 생명보험계약에 의하여 보험금을 지급하게 하는 것은 보험계약을 악용하여 부정한 이득을 얻고자 하는 사행심을 조장함으로써 사회적 상당성을 벗어나게 된다. 따라서, 이러한 생명보험계약은 사회질서에 위배되는 법률행위로서 무효다.

When a life insurance contract is executed for the sole purpose of receiving the insurance proceeds by disguising the occurrence of an insured event from the outset, there is a serious risk of inducing illegal conduct of unfair enrichment at the cost of a human life, and allowing the payment of insurance proceeds in accordance with the life insurance contract executed with such a purpose would incite the speculative spirits to gain undue profits through the abuse of insurance contract and result in deviation from the social equity. Thus, such a life insurance contract shall be null and void as an act that is contrary to sound social policy. 


* 상법 제659조(보험자의 면책사유) ① 보험사고가 보험계약자 또는 피보험자나 보험수익자의 고의 또는 중대한 과실로 인하여 생긴 때에는 보험자는 보험금액을 지급할 책임이 없다.

Commercial Act, Article 659 (Reasons for Insurer's Non-liability) ① If a peril insured against has occurred due to bad faith or gross negligence of a policyholder, the insured or beneficiary, the insurer is not liable to pay the insured amount.


민법 제103조(반사회질서의 법률행위) 선량한 풍속 기타 사회질서에 위반한 사항을 내용으로 하는 법률행위는 무효로 한다.

Civil Act, Articles 103 (Juristic Acts Contrary to Social Order) A juristic act which has for its object such matters as are contrary to good morals and other social order shall be null and void.


<Case>


Supreme Court Decision 99Da49064 delivered on February 11, 2000

 

1. Summing Up

 

ⓐ 'A' decided to defraud the insurance proceeds by insuring his wife 'B' as the insured, for a life insurance policy and subsequently murdering her.

 

ⓑ In early June of 1997, 'A' conspired with 'C' to murder 'B' by disguising as a traffic accident.

 

ⓒ In early July of 1997, 'C' introduced to 'A' a contract murderer 'D'.

 

ⓓ On July 9, 1997, 'A' executed life insurance contracts with 'B' as the policyholder and insured, and her inheritors as the beneficiaries, without B's knowledge, and paid the first insurance premium on the same day.

 

ⓔ 'A' paid 10 million won to 'D' in early August of 1997 as an advance payment and 'A' and 'D' jointly attempted to murder 'B' several times.

 

ⓕ On September 4, 1997, at approximately 2:10, 'D' hit 'B' with a taxicab he was driving at the construction site by which B was killed immediately.

 

ⓖ 'B' was survived by her husband, A and her mother(the plaintiff).

 

2. Judgment of Supreme Court

 

ⓐ The life insurance contracts executed by 'A' for the purpose of defrauding the insurance proceeds by causing the occurrence of the insured event, i.e., murdering the insured 'B' from the outset, are null and void as contrary to sound social policy.

 

ⓑ Thus, the plaintiff, who is one of the co-inheritors and the beneficiaries, is not entitled to claim the insurance proceeds from the defendants even though the plaintiff did not intentionally cause the occurrence of the insured event.

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