How Non Disclosure Can Impact a Claim Payment

June 25, 2015 by Brendan Goddard

You may have thought about the responsibilities an insurance company has to you, the insured, but have you ever considered your own responsibilities? In addition to paying premiums, the insured party has an obligation to the insurer: non disclosure. According to the Insurance Contracts Act 1984, a person has a “duty of disclosure.” When applying for an insurance policy, that individual must provide all information to the insurer that may be relevant to the policy in question. Failure to disclose such information may prove problematic later, and insurers may reduce or even revoke claim payments if non disclosure is found to be valid.

Non Disclosure: The Basics

Before entering into a contract with an insurer, the applying individual is obligated to disclose any information that may be relevant to the policy contract or to the insurer’s decision. This includes everything that the insured could reasonably be expected to know about. Not only is non disclosure expected when first applying for a policy, but it is applicable to all renewals, extensions, and changes.

As the insured, you must reply honestly to all questions, and divulge all relevant details, varying depending on the type of policy you’re applying for. Typical pieces of information include: your income, your occupation, medical history, accurate home values, construction details, fire protection, security measures, your business income and activities, use of contractors and much, much more.

What Could Happen?

It is vital to understand the importance of disclosure. An individual who does not uphold this duty may end up being uninsured when they attempt to make a claim. A contract may become void, particularly if the insured party is found to have falsified or willingly withheld information in any way.

Your insurance company will issue you a policy with very specific terms when you apply, that is why it is imperative that non disclosure is in place. Otherwise, the terms do not apply in your circumstances and your amounts and limits may be vastly different.

How An Insurance Broker Can Help

Far too often, non disclosure is the result of a lack of understanding on the part of the insured. Even the most honest and forthright of individuals can miss something that may be a relevant piece of information to their insurance company. Sometimes insurers don’t ask the right questions to their policy-holders, or the queries may be confusingly-worded and hard to navigate.

With an insurance broker on your side, however, avoiding non disclosure is much easier. Working with a qualified and experienced broker, like those at Macey’s, ensures you don’t miss a thing when it comes to your insurance policies. Your broker will thoroughly examine your situation and help you address all aspects that may influence a policy. It’s a comfort to know that when you’re with Macey Insurance Brokers, you’re in good hands.

Brendan Goddard

Brendan Goddard

Director at Macey Insurance Brokers
Brendan has been a director of Macey since 2005 and in addition to servicing his portfolio of clients he is committed to the continuing management and growth of the business including general operations, human resource, marketing and IT management.

Brendan is a Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Insurance Broking).
Brendan Goddard

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