Full Disclosure


Most of us purchase insurance to gain peace of mind that we will be covered if we are injured or if we accidentally injure someone else. That is why it is so important to make sure your application for insurance is 100 percent accurate. One false answer on your application — even if it was unintentional — can void your insurance coverage, leaving you financially liable for any damages.

Insurance applications come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short and fairly straightforward, with only a few simple questions. Others are page after page of in-depth questions and medical histories. In situations in which a question is confusing or vague, you should seek clarification in writing by your insurance agent. Do not rely on a verbal answer to your question. If an agent is not able to completely answer your questions, you may want to have an attorney read the application and guide you through the process. In any case, make sure that you fully understand every question in the application and that you answer each question candidly.

Many people think that by omitting certain information they can receive better coverage for a lower premium. Whatever the potential savings may be, it is not worth the risk of having your coverage voided when you need it most. Be sure to consult your medical and personal records so that you do not make an accidental omission.

Nearly all insurance policies have provisions that allow an insurer to deny a claim and cancel your policy if they can establish there was false information in an application. If the false or omitted information would have led the company to charge additional premium, offer a lesser limit or not issue the policy at all, they can cancel your policy and deny coverage on your claim.

Whether you are applying for health insurance, an automobile policy or an umbrella policy, make sure you understand every question and answer each question honestly and thoroughly.