WRS Insurance’s Managing Director, Chris Chapman discusses why Client disclosure is a necessity to ensure a successful insurance process.Disclosure refers to the declaration of information, and relies upon a prospective Client being transparent during their involvement with an Insurer. On the contrary, non-disclosure describes an act whereby a Client withholds relevant information. The latter ultimately compromises the legal and professional stance of an Insurer, and it also places the Policyholder in a worse off position than if they had taken due care to avoid misrepresentation.

As insurance brokers, our responsibility is to:

Assess the customer’s demands and needs, whilst explaining to the Customer his duty to disclose all circumstances material, and the consequences of any failure to make such a disclosure, both before the insurance contract commences, and throughout the duration of the contract. As a Broker, we are to take account of the information that the Customer discloses.

Having been an Insurance Broker for 27 years, I am still surprised that the issue of non-disclosure continues to occur, and it cannot be stressed enough the importance of disclosing “material facts” to an Insurance Underwriter. When approached by a new Client, and during the time of a renewal, our Insurance experts have been trained to ask questions regarding:

1) Motoring- Clients are asked to provide information regarding any motoring convictions they have received in the last 5 years. Insurers are now also asking if the Client has attended any speed awareness courses within the last 5 years.
2) Criminal – Any offence involving the Client should be disclosed, irrespective of whether the offence involved a custodian sentence which is not a ‘spent’ conviction. If in any doubt, the Client is advised to share the information regardless, so that a check can be conducted to determine whether it is a spent conviction or not.

1) Clients should make known any claim or loss in the last 5 years, which either they have reported, or that has been made against them. Sometimes a Policyholder may not think these are relevant, but again, we would recommend such information be disclosed so that if necessary all relevant details can be forwarded to the Insurance Underwriter.

Lastly, it is imperative that Clients notify their Insurer of any insurance matters that they have previously had declined, cancelled, or refused. Commercial Clients should also disclose any instances of declared bankruptcy, liquidation or CCJ, that either they or any Principal within their company has incurred.

Chris Chapman,
Managing Director

You can read more about Insurance Disclosure, and the responsibility of an Insurer and Client here