Chartered Accountants

A question of health……. 

Share information with your insurer

This quick guide helps to explain why you are asked questions about your health and lifestyle when you apply for insurance cover and how you can help make the whole process run as smoothly as possible.

1. Always tell the truth
Insurance relies on good faith.  You are insured on the basis of what you tell your insurer.  It’s your duty to provide truthful and complete information about your health and medical history.

2. Answer questions as fully as you can
You should provide information relating to all and any conditions you currently have, or have had in the past.  If you don’t disclose something that might affect your premium, the terms of your cover or an insurer’s decision to provide you with cover can lead to delays.  At worst, your claim may be refused or your insurance cancelled.

3. Know what you’re consenting to
By signing the declaration on your application or claim form, you are saying that you have answered all the questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge and have provided any other information that may influence a decision to offer you insurance.  It is important that, if you are uncertain about anything, you ask for clarity before signing the declaration.

4. If in doubt, don’t leave it out

If you are unsure of the relevance of any information, it’s best to include it on your application form, just to be safe.

5. If you don’t know something, say so

Your insurer will then need to obtain the information from somewhere else.  You must be asked for consent before further information is sought.

6. Know what is in your medical notes
Sometimes your insurer will require additional information about your health.  In these cases, they might seek information from you, your doctor or dentist, your employer or ACC or other government departments.  Under the Privacy Act 1993, the insurer must have your permission to contact someone about your medical history.  In addition, any request must be relevant to the decision about whether or not to insure you.

7. Keep us up to date

Your obligation to disclose everything you know about your health does not end until your policy has been issued.  Therefore, if your circumstances change during the period between making an application and receiving your policy documents, be sure to let your insurer know.

8. Understanding non-disclosure
The non-disclosure of information can become an issue at claim time.  This is because when you make a claim your medical history may be investigated more closely.  Even if the information you failed to provide is unrelated to your claim, but would have altered the original offer of insurance to you, the insurer is legally entitled to decline your claim or even cancel your policy.

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