Thursday, August 14, 2014

Insurance Advice: Avoiding Non-Disclosure

When it comes time to secure your insurance, most of us are familiar with all the forms we're asked to fill out and tests we're expected to undertake. These processes are on the part of the insurer, who is attempting to determine 'level of risk' that you represent to them as a business. Basically, if you are in tip top physical health at a young age and you're applying for life cover, you don't pose much of risk for an insurer to pay out a huge amount in the near future. Thus, your premiums will be lower and your policy will have less exclusions and no loading.

On the other hand, if you have gone through significant health issues in your life or are of a more advanced age, you are more of a risk to the insurer and thus premiums will be higher, exclusions may apply as well as some loading.

This process requires complete honesty on the part of the person applying for insurance, because unfortunately, insurance is a business and purposefully or unintentionally misleading the insurers on your health status or past conditions you have had can sometimes be deemed a violation of your contract, resulting in the insurer refusing to pay your claim or paying a reduced amount.  If it comes out during your application for a claim that any of these conditions were present and not disclosed to the insurer, you risk losing your payout entirely.

When it comes to informing your insurer of your health conditions and history, silence definitely is not the best policy.

So when you're filling out those forms, how do you know what to disclose and what not to? Surely you don't need to mention the leg cramps you had when you was 18? Well, the safest thing to do is simply declare everything you can think of. Not the fact that you had a cold or got the flu, but ailments, conditions, injuries, allergies that you have suffered throughout your life. If you have any doubt whether to include it, include it! At the very least get in contact with our team and ask, and we can tell you with our insurance knowledge whether or not this is something you need to declare or not.

Never assume something is irrelevant. The insurer may have a differing opinion and it could cost you a great deal. If in doubt, ask us, or contact your insurer directly. We have seen non-disclosure ruin claims and leave people in financial ruin. The good news is, with vigilance and honesty, you don't have to worry about it happening to you.