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The Duty to Disclose: Play Fair

From the very onset of discussions with your Insurance Broker or Insurer, should you wish to go direct, it is strongly recommended that you play open cards when presenting your insurance information to them for consideration.

As the insured party, you have a duty to disclose all relevant information at the time of commencing an insurance policy or submitting a claim. Should it later come to light that you have not acted in good faith, your Insurer may very well be obliged to cancel your policy or decline a claim.

For reasons such as these, the importance of disclosing all material facts which may impact on the rating of your policy cannot be understated. This is the start of laying a solid foundation for your contract of insurance and will later stand you in good stead when you need your Insurer to perform when you have a claim – and that day will come, sooner or later.

This is best illustrated by way of an example. Car Insurers measure risk based on where your vehicle is parked overnight, and it is in your best interest to disclose whether your car is parked overnight in a locked garage at a fixed address. If your vehicle is either burgled or stolen, and your Insurer discovers evidence to the contrary, your claim can be rejected.

The risk of non-disclosure in the hopes of securing lower monthly premiums, does not outweigh the long-term benefits of full disclosure. Clients who share all relevant information with their Insurance Broker or Insurer enjoy complete peace of mind and increased assurance that their claims will be paid out.

While complete disclosure at the time of a policy’s inception is important, it is but a piece of the puzzle. Disclosure of all material facts is also applicable at the time of submitting a claim to insurers.

Should your Insurer become aware that misrepresentation (which includes omission of fact) or the distortion of fact by you at any stage during the lifespan of the insurance product has taken place, this will result in remedial action being taken against you by the Insurer in accordance with the policy’s contractual terms and conditions.

A policy of insurance is no different to any other contract which any number of parties enter into, for whatever reason. There are do’s and don’ts; terms and conditions; endorsements and addendums; extensions and limitations and many more such contractual terms to which you and your Insurers are bound in law to perform under. It all facilitates transparency and fair play by all parties.

At REAM Insurance Brokers, we offer insurance intermediary services within the parameters of fidelity, integrity and transparency. Let us assist you in making maximum disclosure so you can be more confident that your car or home insurance policy is going to serve its purpose.

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