Insuring risk is a two-way affair – accuracy is essential when it comes to filling-in policy paperwork
As a society we have used insurance as a method of transferring or distributing risk for centuries – UK property insurance can be traced back to the aftermath of the Great Fire of London in 1666. An insurance policy provides protection from financial loss: premiums paid by insurers’ customers are pooled to establish a collective fund that pays for individual losses.
But it is worth remembering that insurance is based on good faith and fair dealing, which means that the consumer who has bought the policy has a duty to disclose all relevant information and must avoid concealment or misrepresentation.
When setting a premium an insurer will assess the risks involved – the questions asked of you when you apply for a policy are a cornerstone of that risk-assessment process, so you should answer carefully and accurately to help your insurer assess the risks properly. If you do not comply with this obligation your insurer is entitled to cancel your policy or refuse to pay your claim – and you will have lost all the premiums you have already paid.
As a personal injury solicitor I see more and more instances of insurers being able to prove a claimant materially misrepresented the facts when they applied for their policy. In such cases, insurers are more than likely to refuse to indemnify policy-holders for their losses and for third-party losses. This could amount to significant sums of money and could even put a policy-holder’s assets at risk.
With all this in mind, it is a good idea to take a really careful look at the information you give when you next apply for insurance cover or renew a policy. Ensure all the details you give are correct and current, try not to guess the answers and whenever possible check the true facts before proceeding.
With modern life moving at such a fast pace it is easy to make mistakes, especially when you are in a rush – but it is wise to make the time to answer your insurer’s questions accurately, and read the small-print carefully so you can be sure the cover on offer is sufficient for your needs.
For more information about personal injury law, to find out how we may be able to help you or a loved one, or to discuss the details of your claim contact the George Ide team on 01243 786668 or email us at email@example.com.
Claire Watson. Partner & Head of personal injuryGeneral, George Ide, News, Personal Injury Blog