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Once an insurance policy has been taken out it is advisable to read it carefully. Most comprehensive and third party property policies contain special conditions, and failure to comply with them can result in the insurance company refusing to accept a claim. Here are some common problems.

Failing to Report the Accident

Most policies require the insured to report any accident or damage to the insurer as soon as possible. Even if the person does not intend to claim on their insurer, it is still advisable to notify them, indicating that the notice is not a claim.

Alcohol

Most policies stipulate that no cover will be provided if the vehicle was being driven by a person under the influence of alcohol or a drug. However, the fact of a conviction of an offence against the Road Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1970 (Tas) will not necessarily invalidate insurance cover.

Unlicensed Driver

Most policies provide that the insurer can refuse to cover a claim if the vehicle was being driven by an unlicensed driver, unless that vehicle is stolen. This includes a person to whom the owner has lent the car. If a person is going to lend their car to someone, they should always check that the other person has a valid driving licence. This will protect them, the driver and anyone suffering damage in an accident.

Past History of Insured

When filling out the proposal for insurance, it is important that all questions in the proposal form are answered truthfully. Questions are normally asked concerning the owner's past driving record and must be answered fully and honestly. If not, the insurance company may refuse to honour a claim. It is important that during the currency of a contract of insurance, that the insurance company is advised of any material changes in the information provided at the time of obtaining the original policy of insurance; for example, a modification of the vehicle or suspension of a driving licence.

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