Duty Of Disclosure – When taking out an insurance policy
Potential policyholders (proposers) have a duty of disclosure when taking out an insurance policy.
‘It is an implied condition in all contracts of insurance that the proposer shall make a full and complete disclosure to the insurer of all material facts relating to the risk to be insured’.
Anything concealed is considered fraud and you cannot escape the consequences by claiming you did not know what was material. On a property policy some examples of material facts are:
- A thatched roof – this must be disclosed because it has a higher fire risk.
- A flat roof or percentage of same must be disclosed as it has a higher risk of leaking in stormy conditions
- Claims history – previous claims must be disclosed within a certain time period usually 5 years.
- Properties in areas of flooding or subsidence must be disclosed.
There are certain facts which a proposer need not disclose
- Facts already know by to insures.
- Facts which tend to lessen the risk etc.
Some years ago we were acting for a client who owned a commercial shop with apartments. There had been a break in 6 months previously and some toilets and bathroom fitting were maliciously damaged. Just as this claim settled there was a fire in the apartments and we were asked to assess the fire.
Insurers declined the fire claim for two reasons
- They claimed that they were unaware of the apartments being unoccupied.
- They were never advised about the shop changing use from a carpet shop to an African foodstuffs shop.
We wrote back and agued that’s these two facts didn’t need to be disclosed. As Insurers were aware of the malicious damage claim deeming the apartments uninhabitable, it should have been no surprise that the apartments were unoccupied. Even though the first claim had just settled there wasn’t enough time to carry out repairs and find new tenants. On the second fact that Carpets are a higher fire risk than African foodstuffs then the risk was lessened and didn’t need to be disclosed. Our argument was successful and the second fire claim was also paid.
If you have damage as a result of a fire, have it professionally assessed. In Property Claims Loss Assessors Ltd we are Engineers and Building Surveyors with over 20 years’ experience. Knowing where smoke can go e.g. electrical boxes and conduits, behind skirting boards etc. and how to professionally clean everything is always a normal part of our assessment. We always advise clients after a fire to never start repairs until all the smoke damage is cleaned and certified. In addition to fire damage we also cover damage from pipe leaks, storm, flood, subsidence, break-ins, etc. Our first survey is free and we are a ‘no win no fee’ company.
Michael Corrigan & Co.
“Michael Corrigan & Co. has been the main suppliers of all hygiene products and floor maintenance equipment to Loreto College Swords since 1992. Michael’s company provides a prompt and friendly delivery service, often at very short notice. He also advises on all aspects of floor care within our college. We are proud to be associated with Michael and would highly recommend him as a supplier.”
Peter Mc Namara, Principal, Loreto College Swords.
Hub Media Web Design.
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Paul McDermott (Managing Director), Marble & Granite Supplies Ltd.
International Retail Consultant.
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Pat and Claire Nolan, Photohouse Photography.
BRM Financial Services.
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Paul C Dwyer, C.E.O., TeamInfoSec Ireland Ltd.
“We have been dealing with The Green Office since January 2008. We initially started with them because our original stationary supplier could not source a product for us. This was no problem for Kevin and the team, in fact he seems to relish on getting us what we want and for the best price and the quickest delivery time. In fact it's an in house Joke in our Company that as soon as you put through your order, Philip will be at the door with box in hand. We look forward to continued dealings with The Green Office and their wonderful, efficient, friendly team.”
Anne Hanlon, Accounts Manager, Label World Ltd.
Pat & Claire Nolan
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John and Trina, 8th June 2012, Wineport Lodge, Athlone.
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We use Finprint often for a variety of jobs – printing, design and mock-ups.
They’re always able to meet our tight timelines and consistently provide great quality. The fact they are local is even better and their staff are always friendly and helpful!
Joanne Kelly, FAB Health & Wellness.
Property Claims Loss Assessors.
I recently had a chimney fire which caused considerable structural and smoke damage to my home. I had no idea where to look for help, until a friend of mine told me about Property Claims Loss Assessors. When I first contacted them I was immediately put at ease by their level of understanding & professionalism. I found that I was able to claim for new carpets throughout my house, because of the level of smoke damage from the fire, something which I never thought previously that I would be able to claim for! They also organised for a chimney expert to do the work for me. I was put up in the local hotel while the work was being done, and all the costs were covered by my insurers. I could not be happier with the service provided!
Kathleen from Derry, 2015.