Disclosure is no duty – it’s about being honest

 In our opinion many people out there don’t really know what they are signing when they enter into a contract for insurance, or for that matter any other agreements for the provision of goods and services.  Signing a contract is all so mundane these days, who really reads what they are signing?  What does it mean anyway?


Your duty to disclose is unavoidable.  Every time you sign an agreement or contract, the provider company expects that you have provided a full and accurate record of all information that they have specifically asked about. It is your responsibility to be transparently honest; and when you sign the dotted line you are accepting full responsibility for any consequences if you have not been completely frank.


When it comes to answering a question don’t bother asking yourself whether or not it might or might not be important enough to mention, let the insurance company decide that.  All the information that you provide is strictly confidential.


The consequences of non disclosure will usually come at claim time (and/or when you are next applying for insurance cover) when your insurance history is checked against any further information provided for the claim.


The worst case scenario is that you will not be paid for your claim and your contract will be made void for non disclosure. This means that all your premiums are refunded from the start of the contract as though you cease to exist.  Further, and of far more concern is that you will not be able to get further insurance through that original provider or any other insurance company.    


Let’s face it, it is about being honest, not about trying to get a windfall from some faceless profit driven corporate company.  And don’t panic if suddenly you recall something you forgot to mention originally, just call your adviser or the provider company and let them know.  It is never too late.


The same applies for contents insurance claims.  Ever heard the story about being paid out for an insurance claim i.e. X lost their watch and then found it a few months later. What a windfall!

In this type of circumstance you will be required to either pay the money back or give the insurance company the new replacement item.  Be honest and do the right thing or be prepared to risk losing your insurance cover.


When dealing with Thorners you are required to tell us of anything you know, or ought to know, that may affect the decision of a prudent insurer whether to accept your insurance, or renew your policy, and if so, on what terms. If you have not disclosed all material information, or if you have misrepresented that information, then an insurer is entitled to cancel the policy retrospectively from the beginning.
In simple terms you need to tell us about any convictions, traffic offences and claims or other material information and keep us informed so that we can make sure your policies are valid at all times.

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For legal advice on insurance disputes, go to HornsbyWatson.com.