If you are a consumer (any person who is acting for purposes which are outside of your trade or profession), it is your responsibility to answer all questions honestly, fully and to the best of your knowledge, providing complete and accurate information, or your cover may not be valid. If you misrepresent or fail to disclose information about which you are asked, an insurance claim may not be covered, and your policy may be cancelled or voided from inception.
Insurers may not deal with a claim if the risk is different from what they have been told so it is important to tell us as soon as possible (preferably in advance) of any change that occurs during the year – common examples include changes in occupation or address or drivers, or modifications to the vehicle.
Before each renewal you must also inform us of any new convictions or pending charges.
You should carefully check all documents supplied to you and your responses to all questions and declarations.
If you are a commercial customer (any person who is not a consumer), you have a duty to give a fair presentation of risk to the insurer. This means that you should disclose every material circumstance relevant to the risk being insured following a reasonable search within your business to identify and verify such information. This should include information which you and where applicable your senior management, persons responsible for arranging your insurance or other relevant third parties know or ought to know and should include all information that would influence the judgement of the insurer or that would put the insurer on notice that it needs to make further enquiries.
Examples of material circumstances are:
• Special or unusual circumstances relating to the risk;
• Any particular concerns which led you to seek insurance cover for the risk; and
• Anything which those concerned with the class of insurance and field of activity in question would generally understand as being something that would be dealt with in a fair presentation of risks for this type of insurance.
The information must be presented in a way which would be reasonably clear and accessible to a prudent insurer. If you are unsure whether to disclose any information you should speak to us. You need to take into account the size & complexity of your business and allow yourself sufficient time before your renewal date to consider and / or assess your insurance requirements.
Failure to provide a ‘fair representation’ may result in a number of remedies by the insurer. If the breach was deliberate or reckless the insurer can void the contract and keep the premium. If the breach was not deliberate or reckless the insurer can void the contract, proportionately reduce a claim settlement or amend the insurance policy terms and conditions then review the merits of a claim on this basis.
You should therefore always provide complete and accurate information to us when we ask you about the insurance risks your business faces before taking out a policy, at renewal and throughout the life of the policy. This also applies to your responses in relation to any assumptions you may agree to in the process of applying for insurance cover.
If you are in any doubt, or if you have questions at any time, please contact us on 01379 652500. Our normal hours are 8:30am to 7pm weekdays and 9:30am to 4:30pm Saturdays.