Important Notices & Information
We have prepared this document to assist you to understand important issues relating to your insurances. Please contact your Account Executive if you have any questions or require further advice/assistance.
Essential Reading Of Policy Wording
The policy wordings for your insurances are essential reading to understand what is protected by each policy. Read them carefully as soon as possible and contact us if you have any concerns about the extent of your cover.
Your Duty of Disclosure
(non-consumer insurance contracts only)
Before you enter into an insurance contract, you have a duty to tell the insurer anything that you know, or could reasonably be expected to know, that may affect the insurer’s decision to insure you and on what terms. You have this duty until the insurer agrees to insure you.
You have the same duty before you renew, extend, vary, or reinstate an insurance contract. You do not need to tell the insurer anything that:
- reduces the risk they insure you for; or
- is common knowledge; or
- the insurer knows, or should know; or
- the insurer waives your duty to tell them about.
If you do not tell the insurer something;
If you do not tell the insurer anything you are required to, they may cancel your contract, or reduce the amount they will pay you if you make a claim, or both. If your failure to tell the insurer is fraudulent, they may refuse to pay a claim and treat the contract as if it never existed.
Duty to not make a Misrepresentation
(consumer insurance contracts only)
You have a duty under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (ICA) to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer (your duty). Your duty applies only in respect of a policy that is a consumer insurance contract, which is a term defined in the ICA.
Your duty applies before you enter into the policy, and also before you renew, extend, vary, or reinstate the policy. Before you do any of these things, you may be required to answer questions and the insurer will use the answers you provide in deciding whether to insure you, and anyone else to be insured under the policy, and on what terms. To ensure you meet your duty, your answers to the questions must be truthful, accurate and complete. If you fail to meet your duty, the insurer may be able to cancel your contract, or reduce the amount it will pay if you make a claim, or both. If your failure is fraudulent, the insurer may be able to refuse to pay a claim and treat the contract as if it never existed.
Duty Of Good Faith
Both parties to an insurance contract, the insurer and the insured, must act towards each other with the utmost good faith. If you fail to do so, the insurer can cancel your insurance. If the insurer fails to do so, you may be able to sue the insurer.
Average Or Co-insurance
Some policies contain an Average or Co-insurance clause. This means that if you insure for less than the full value of the property, your claim may be reduced in proportion to the amount of the under-insurance. Some business interruption policies contain an Average/Co-Insurance clause which has a different application. Check your policy and contact us with any questions.
Contracts And Leases You Sign
If you sign a contract with an indemnity, “hold harmless” or release, it can invalidate your insurance – unless you obtain the Insurer’s consent in advance. These clauses are often found in leases and other contracts you sign from time to time relating to our business. Do not sign a contract or lease without contacting us and/or taking legal advice as to whether the contract terms will prejudice your policy.
Leasing, Hiring And Borrowing Property
When you lease, hire or borrow property, make sure that the contract clearly identifies who is responsible for insuring the property.
Industrial Special Risks policies automatically cover property which you are responsible to insure, subject to the policy excess. Public liability insurance may assist you meet claims relating to property damage to property which you lease or hire. A sub-limit usually applies to the amount you can claim for damage to property in your care, custody or control.
Additional Insureds And Noting Interests
If a person is to be named on your policy or insured as a coinsured or joint insured, notify us immediately so we can request this in advance from the insurer. Your property and liability policies will not provide automatic cover for the insurable interest of other parties (e.g., mortgagees, lessors). Check with us whether the insurer will include someone else as an insured or note their interests before you agree to this in a contract or lease. We cannot guarantee that an insurer will agree to include someone as an insured under your policy or to note their interests on your policy.
Claims Occurring Policies
Most of your policies do not provide indemnity in respect of events that occurred before the insurance commenced. They cover events that occur during the policy period.
Claims Made Policies
Some policies (e.g. professional indemnity insurance) provide cover on a “claims made” basis. This means that claims first advised to you (or made against you) and reported to your insurer during the policy period are insured under that policy, irrespective of when the incident causing the claim occurred. If you become aware of circumstances which could give rise to a claim, notify the insurer during the policy period. Report all incidents that may give rise to a claim against you to the insurers immediately after they come to your attention and before the policy expires.
We do not warrant or guarantee the current or ongoing solvency or financial viability of the insurer because we have no control over the insurer’s performance and this can be affected by many complex commercial and economic factors.
Unauthorised Foreign Insurers
In limited cases, we may recommend that you insure with an unauthorised foreign insurer. An unauthorised foreign insurer is an insurer that is not authorised under the Insurance Act 1973 (Act) to conduct insurance business in Australia and is not subject to the system of financial supervision of general insurers in Australia that is monitored by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
If the insurer becomes insolvent, you will not be protected by the Federal Government’s Financial Claims Scheme provided under Part VC of that Act.