The importance of getting your insurance application right

When you last applied for insurance, how much attention did you pay to the detail?

You might have heard the words ‘duty of disclosure’ in relation to applying for insurance. This means that, when applying for insurance, you are responsible for making sure you tell your insurance company about anything that might affect their decision to provide you with cover. If you have not disclosed everything to your insurance company, you may have claims declined as a result. By completing your application carefully and correctly, it will speed up the underwriting process and improve your ability to make a claim.

When you fill in your application form, you’ll be asked a lot of questions about your lifestyle and your medical history. Although it might seem like a lot of work, and remembering everything can be difficult, it’s important that you answer all the questions in as much detail as you can. If you’re not sure how to answer a question, ask us for help. 

In the case of medical questions, you will have the option of giving your insurer permission to recall your medical records when they assess your application. However, this doesn’t guarantee that they will. Therefore, if you’re at all unsure of your answers, it pays to request your records for yourself, as getting these details right is vital. Under the Health Information Privacy Code, your doctor or dentist must provide you with your records on request, or you may be able to access them online using the Manage My Health portal. 

Under New Zealand law, you are required to do two things when you apply for insurance.

The first is to disclose all material facts. This means you must tell your insurer anything that might affect their decision to cover you, whether or not there is a specific question on the application form about that topic. The second is that you must not make any misstatements, which means that everything you say must be correct. If any statement in your application is found to be incorrect at any time, your insurance company can void your policy (treat it as though it never existed).

At OPM, we will coach you through the application process to make it as easy as possible.

Oliver has extensive experience in medical underwriting and claims, and he uses this to simplify the task of completing your application, and to make sure you’ve provided all the necessary information. By being sure that you have correctly fulfilled your duty of disclosure, you can be more confident of a positive claims outcome if you suffer from an insured event. 


Simon Walker