modern art the law Its about that time of year again when many of us are taking out or renewing Insurance Policies be they motor vehicle policies, health insurance cover or Employer’s Liability/ Public Liability Policies.

It is probably fair to say that most of us prioritise cost and convenience and give less attention than we should to the actual process of putting cover in place and it is this casual approach that can prove extremely costly in the event of a Claim under a Policy. The reality is that we can be blissfully unaware of a potential problem unless and until we look to claim under the policy only to find payment refused. This can be, quite simply, gutting for a Policyholder.

It is imperative to understand that an Insurance Policy is the product of a CONTRACT between the customer and the Insurance Company. Where the Policyholder fails to comply with the conditions of that contract, payment out on the policy can and will be refused.

The PROPOSAL FORM filled out at the inception of a Policy is a vital document. The customer provides material information to the Insurance Company which information is the fundamental basis on which the POLICY OF INSURANCE is granted. Unless great care is taken in filling out this proposal form and accurate replies are provided to each question, a future claim on the policy is likely to fail.

Nowadays, insurance cover is often taken out via telephone. This process is followed up by the Insurance Company sending out a STATEMENT OF FACTS which has been printed to reflect the replies recorded to questions raised during the earlier phone conversation. It is imperative that the customer checks this documents and ensures that same is accurate.

The seriousness of mistakes, misrepresentations or omissions in PROPOSAL FORMS or STATEMENTS OF FACTS cannot be exaggerated. There is simply no room for a casual approach.

Where mistakes can often arise is on RENEWAL where there can be even less attention to the paperwork. Any material change in circumstances must be disclosed. If in doubt, DISCLOSE !

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