Consumer Insurance Act to comes into force on 6 April 2013

17 March 2013

World Travel Insurance News

The Law Commission confirmed that the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 (“the Act”) will come into effect on 6 April 2013. At the heart of this Act is the removal of the duty on consumers to volunteer material facts when applying for, or renewing, an insurance policy and replaces this duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation.

The remedies will be handled so as to be in line with the Financial Ombudsman Service and the rest of Europe, the relevant requirements now being proportionality and the intention of the consumer.

The questions insurers are asking themselves include:

  • do the questions in the proposal forms / call scripts elicit exactly the information required;
  • are internal underwriting guidelines clear when trying to ascertain what would have happened if the correct information had been provided;
  • are all critical warranties clearly identified in the body of the policy - generic basis of the contract clauses are also abolished under the Act;
  • does the renewal process ensure that consumers reassess all information previously provided;
  • have sales / underwriting / claims staff had all the necessary training on the changes.

The Act promotes clarity throughout the process and will mean that consumers no longer have to second guess what information might be relevant to insurers. This, in turn, will hopefully reduce the number of policy disputes.

Globelink Travel Insurance are advising their clients that

The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 requires you to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation. This Act requires us to remind you that you do have a responsibility to act honestly and provide accurate details taking care not to make a misrepresentation.

It is vital that you answer each question honestly and accurately, taking reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation as inaccurate answers may result in underwriters declining any claims costs that may arise.

Changes to health after you purchase a policy

Please be aware that you must tell us about any new diagnosed medical conditions or changes to your existing medical conditions that take place between the date you bought your policy and either the date you booked your trip or before you travel. Please see the details in your policy wording.

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