Duty of Disclosure – (non-consumer insurance contracts only)

Your duty of disclosure

Before you enter into an insurance contract, you have a duty to tell the insurer anything that you know, or could reasonably b expected to know, that may affect the insurer’s decision to insure you and on what terms.

You have this duty until the insurer agrees to insure you.

You have the same duty before you renew, extend, vary, or reinstate an insurance contract.

You do not need to tell the insurer anything that:

  • reduces the risk they insurer you for; or
  • is common knowledge; or
  • the insurer knows, or should know; or
  • the insurer waives your duty to tell them about.

If you do not tell the insurer something

If you do not tell the insurer anything you are required to, they may cancel your contract, or reduce the amount they will pay you if you make a claim, or both.

If your failure to tell the insurer is fraudulent, they may refuse to pay a claim and treat the contract as if it never existed.

Duty to not make a misrepresentation – (consumer insurance contracts only)

You have a duty under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (ICA) to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer (your duty).

Your duty applies only in respect of a policy that is a consumer insurance contract, which is a term defined in the ICA.

Your duty applies before you enter into the policy, and also before you renew, extend, vary, or reinstate the policy.

Before you do any of these things, you may be required to answer questions and the insurer will use the answers you provide in deciding whether to insure you, and anyone else to be insured under the policy, and on what terms. To ensure you meet your duty, your answers to the questions must be truthful, accurate and complete.

If you fail to meet your duty, the insurer may be able to cancel your contract, or reduce the amount it will pay if you make a claim, or both.

If your failure is fraudulent, the insurer may be able to refuse to pay a claim and treat the contract as if it never existed.