Duty of Disclosure


Under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 you have a Duty of Disclosure (Duty).  A different Duty applies depending on the type of insurance contract i.e. contracts predominately used for personal, domestic or household use (“consumer contracts”) or other non-consumer contracts (e.g. commercial / business use policies). As a general guide, we have provided the below information to highlight the nature of these different duties however please read the PDS/Policy wording for the applicable Duty and if you are not sure, please ask your broker. 

Policies for personal, domestic or household use

Consumer contracts e.g. motor, home building and contents, travel, sickness & accident, consumer credit

You have a duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer, before you enter the policy as well as before you renew, extend, vary or reinstate the policy.  Before you do these things, you may be asked questions, the answers to which the insurer will use in deciding whether to insure you, or anyone else to be insured under the policy, and on what terms. You must answer these questions truthfully, accurately and completely.  

All other insurances

Non-consumer contracts e.g. policies for use in a business 

Before you enter an insurance contract, you have a duty to tell the insurer anything that you know, or could reasonably be expected to know, may affect their 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 any insurance contract.

You do not need to tell the insurer anything that:

·         reduces the risk they insure you for; or

·         is common knowledge; or

·         they know or should know as an insurer; or

·         they waive your duty to tell them about.

Important for all insurance contracts

If you do not tell the insurer something 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 them is fraudulent, they may refuse to pay a claim and treat the contract as if it never existed.