'White lies' can kill a claim

Monday 8 November 2004

When my partner took out household insurance recently he told the company we had a burglar alarm.

By The Landlord

The box in question turned out to be house fuses and, in one fell swoop, he'd invalidated our cover. Had we suffered a loss, AMI would have been within its rights to decline our claim.

People can and do void their insurance policies every day of the week as a result of silly and innocent mistakes or by telling what they deem to be white lies.

But the consequences of having a claim turned down can be far-reaching.

Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Karen Stevens cites the case of a single mother who bought a car on finance. On renewal of her insurance policy, she failed to declare that a new partner with criminal convictions had become a regular driver. When the partner wrote off the car in an accident, the insurance company declined the claim for non-disclosure.

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