The medical examiner wrote in the answers to the questions contained in application, Part II. He testified as to a number of these questions that he received the information upon which he based the answer from the applicant. As to the particular questions and answers in issue he testified: “I must have received the information from the insured.” The defendant denied that he gave the medical examiner the information upon which said answers were based, but testified that the medical examiner made a physical examination, asked him a few questions, filled in the answers and told him to sign the statement. He further stated that he signed the statement containing the answers without reading them because he was in a hurry. He makes no contention that the medical examiner knew that he had been confined in a sanatorium or that he had suffered an attack of pleurisy, or had been under the care of physicians. On the contrary, all the evidence tends to show that the medical examiner had no information as to the representations concerning which issues were submitted to the jury. So far as the record discloses the defendant does not contend to the contrary.
Is the falsity of the representations contained in application, Part II, which forms a part of the contract of insurance, made in a written statement which was signed but not read by the insured, sufficient cause for rescinding so much of the contract of insurance as is not protected by the incontestability clause?
The representations made were material to the risk. They are in the form of written answers made to written questions. In such case the questions and answers are deemed to be material by the acts of the parties to the contract. Bryant v. Ins. Co., 147 N. C., 181, 60 S. E., 983; Ins. Co. v. Woolen Mills, 172 N. C., 534, 90 S. E., 574; Inman v. Woodmen of the World, 211 N. C., 179, 189 S. E., 496; Petty v. Ins. Co., 212 N. C., 157, 193 S. E., 228.
Except in policies issued under provisions of C. S., 6460, material representations which are false need not be fraudulently made to invalidate the policy. “In cases where the misrepresentation is positive and of a fact actually material, it is not necessary to prove that the representation was fraudulently made; the materiality of the misrepresentation, and its proven falsity does away with the necessity of showing actual fraud.” Joyce on Insurance, Vol. 3, Second Ed., page 3068. “The effect of a misrepresentation of a material fact has precisely the same effect as a concealment, it renders the policy voidable. The misrepresentation need not be fraudulent to have this effect. Falsity in fact is sufficient.” Richards on the Law of Insurance, Fourth Ed., page 136. Such representations when false invalidate the policy without further proof of actual conscious design to defraud. Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Hilton-Green, 241 U. S., 613, 60 L. Ed., 1202. The *284decisions in this court are consistently to like effect. Bobbitt v. Ins. Co., 66 N. C., 70; Ins. Co. v. Woolen Mills, supra; Inman v. Woodmen of the World, supra; Petty v. Ins. Co., supra.
An intentional misrepresentation of a material fact is fraudulent. It need not appear, therefore, that the representation was intentionally made. Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Hilton-Green, supra, in which Mr. Justice McBeynolds, speaking for the Court, said: “Considered in the most favorable light possible, the above quoted incorrect statements in the application are material representations; and, nothing else appearing, if known to be untrue by assured when made, invalidate the policy without further proof of actual conscious design to defraud.” Ins. Co. v. Woolen Mills, supra; Petty v. Ins. Co., supra; McEwen v. Life Insurance Co., 139 Pac., 242.
A representation of a fact may be false or untrue through mistake, ignorance, accident or negligence, in which case, if it induces the risk which the insurer would not otherwise have taken, it is material. . . . It is now well settled that in cases of the character above specified the misrepresentation of a material fact preceding or contemporaneous with the contract avoids the policy even though the assured be innocent of fraud or an intent to deceive or to wrongfully induce the assurer to act, or whether the statement was made in ignorance or good faith, or unintentionally. A mere inadvertent omission of material facts which the assured should have known to be material, will avoid the contract if false and relied on by the assurer. Joyce on Insurance, Vol. 3, Second Ed., page 3073. “The applicant did not read the application or request that it be read to him before he signed it. His failure to do either was not induced by any fraud on the part of the agent. When he signed the application, he knew that the agent had written answers to the questions contained in it. He represented to the defendant that these answers were true.” Inman v. Woodmen of the World, supra.
As stated, it is settled law in North Carolina that answers to specific questions, like those asked in the instant case, where there has been a medical examination, are material as a matter of law. The defendant went to the medical examiner with the full knowledge of the purpose of his visit. He knew that the examiner had written answers to questions appearing upon the blank then being used by him and he makes no suggestion that .the examiner had any knowledge of his former illness or his prior confinement to a sanatorium. Neither does he suggest that the examiner acted other than in the utmost good faith. He signed the instrument, knowing that by so doing he was adopting such answers as had been entered as his own, and that he was representing to the company that they were true. Thereafter he received the policy with a photostatic copy of the questions and answers attached, which policy he *285kept in bis possession for a period of years without discovering the falsity of the representations he had made, or, having discovered them, without advising the company of the misstatements therein contained. On the other hand, the plaintiff acted promptly to have the provisions of the policy not protected by the incontestability clause rescinded as soon as it acquired knowledge of the fact that the representations contained in the application were not true.
The defendant is a man of education and professional training, and it is not unreasonable to assume that he knew the company wished to know and was seeking to ascertain whether he had suffered any illness, such as that now disclosed, prior to the acceptance of the application. He cannot now successfully defend upon the only plea he now asserts— that the answers were made by the medical examiner and that he signed the statement without reading it because he was in a hurry. However innocently he may have acted, the present situation grows out of his own carelessness and negligence, through which he obtained a policy that otherwise would not have been issued. It would be inequitable and contrary to the consistent decisions of this Court to permit him to insist upon the validity of a contract thus obtained. As it is, he now has the benefit of the life policy benefits of the contract by virtue of the incontestability provisions of the policy, notwithstanding the fact that it was issued by the plaintiff without knowledge of facts which would have materially influenced it in accepting or rejecting the applicant.
It may be noted that the defendant makes no attack on the application, Part I, which he signed and delivered to the soliciting agent. Neither does he contend that he failed to read this instrument before signing it. He therein agreed “that no agent or other person except the president, a vice president, the secretary, the treasurer, or a registrar of the society, has power to make or modify any contract on behalf of the society or to waive any of the society’s rights or requirements, and that no waiver shall be valid unless in writing and signed by one of the foregoing officers. All of the foregoing answers and all those contained in Part II hereof (the statements to the medical examiner) are true, and are offered to the society as an inducement to issue the policy, or policies, for which application is hereby made.”
There was no conflict in the testimony as to the essential facts to be determined. The evidence tends to show, without contradiction, that the defendant signed and filed with the plaintiff a paper writing containing the representations referred to in the issues submitted; that they were false; that the medical examiner had no personal knowledge as to their truth or falsity; that the defendant carelessly and negligently signed the instrument without reading it and thereby adopted the statements as his own. They were material as a matter of law. Therefore, *286we consider tbat the exceptions to the charge of the court are without merit. Nor can the defendant’s exceptions to the admission of evidence bo sustained.