Many people often only think about their insurance at either renewal time or when they need to make a claim, the important message is however, if your circumstances have change at any time during the year then talk to your broker or insurer to see if your cover will be affected.
Duty of disclosure
When you decide to take out an insurance policy your broker or insurer will highlight your ‘duty of disclosure’, what this means is that you need to let your broker or insurer know about anything that may affect your business risk as soon as possible.
Your insurance cover and acceptance of the cover by the insurer is based on a wide range of factors, not only do these factors affect how the insurer calculates your premium but it also impacts the terms and conditions under which the insurer accepts the cover.
An insurer may even choose not to accept cover based on some of these factors.
If you do not tell the insurer something you are required to it may impact your ability to make a claim, they may cancel your policy or reduce the amount they will pay you, or both, so it’s important to be truthful and open with your broker or insurer when seeking or continuing to hold a policy.
Here are some examples of changes that can be easily overlooked but at the same time can affect the level of cover provided by your policy:-
- Your property may be considered ‘unoccupied’ if it has been vacant for an extended time, depending on the insurer this could be as little as 30 continuous days. You insurer may limit the cover for an ‘unoccupied’ property
- The tenants of your commercial property have changed, the building may have previously been occupied by a news agency but is now occupied by a tattooist. Your insurer may refuse cover for ‘high-risk’ occupations.
- Your business activities have changed, such as you may now manufacture or sell a different product or provide additional services that fall outside of your normal business activities. Your liability may not extend to cover the additional activities.
- You may have recently changed to using subcontractors or labour hire.
- Your turnover and/or your number of staff may have changed.
- Your work locations, premises, contents, stock, machinery & equipment may have changed. Your sums insured may now be insufficient.
- The driving and criminal histories of your staff who drive company vehicles has changed.
- You recently started importing or exporting products from overseas.
Equally important is keeping your personal details upto date including:-
- Your contact details such as phone number, postal address, email address and best contact person.
- Changes to criminal convictions or bankruptcy.
- Insurance history such as any policies cancelled or declined by an insurer.
- Your claims history including any claims declined