When you take out insurance, the policy wording will include your Duty of Disclosure. This will state that you have duty to disclose to all information that a prudent insurer would want to take into account when considering whether to insure you, and if so on what terms. When taking out or renewing home insurance, be careful to avoid ‘non-disclosure.’
Non‐disclosure is when you fail to reveal a material fact when applying for, or renewing, insurance. An example of this is not telling your insurer you have a criminal conviction, or that you have set up a mechanics business in your garage.
Where there has been an omission of the information the policy may no longer be valid. This means that when it comes to claiming, your claim could be reduced or refused. However, if an omission is not relevant to the situation of the claim, it should not affect the claim.
Examples of non disclosure
Common areas where policy holders often non disclose without even realising include:
- tenanting your own home (short or long term)
- carrying out structural renovation work or adding an extension to your home
- not revealing that you have had insurance refused, cancelled or had special terms imposed
- running a business from your home
- not disclosing your criminal conviction
- not informing your insurer of natural hazards on your property, such as a flood zone or land instability
The message is simple; if in doubt inform your insurer so you have peace of mind and certainty that you’re covered.