Before you enter into this insurance with us, you have a duty of disclosure under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984. The Act imposes a different duty the first time you enter into a contract of insurance with us to that which applies when you vary, extend or reinstate the contract. This duty of disclosure applies until the contract is entered into (or varied, extended or reinstated as applicable).
Your Duty of Disclosure when you enter into the contract with us for the first time
When answering our specific questions that are relevant to our decision whether to accept the risk of the insurance and, if so, on what terms, you must be honest and disclose to us anything that you know and that a reasonable person in the circumstances would include in answer to the questions. It is important that you understand that you are answering our questions in this way for yourself and anyone else that you want to be covered by the contract.
Your Duty of Disclosure when you vary, extend or reinstate the contract
When you vary, extend or reinstate the contract with us, your duty is to disclose every matter that you know, or could reasonably be expected to know, is relevant to our decision whether to accept the risk of the insurance and, if so, on what terms.
What you do NOT need to tell us
Your duty however, does not require disclosure of any matter:
- that diminishes the risk to be undertaken by us; or
- that is of common knowledge; or
- that we know or, in the ordinary course of business as an insurer, ought to know; or
- as to which compliance with your duty is waived by us.
If you fail to comply with your duty of disclosure, we may be entitled to reduce our liability under the contract in respect of a claim, cancel the contract or both. If your non-disclosure is fraudulent, we may also have the option of avoiding the contract from its beginning.
What does Duty of Disclosure mean in Travel Insurance?
A duty of disclosure is legally binding document stating you must be forthright and honest when giving information to the insurer. This is stated within the Insurance Contracts Act of 1984. The Act imposes a duty when you enter a travel insurance policy with us.
In laments terms, this means that when you agree to a policy – whether it is travel or otherwise, there is an understanding between you and the insurer that you will tell us information that could or will affect the policy. It is important that you adhere to the Duty of Disclosure so that you are protected from the legal ramifications of not being forthright.
Who does the Duty of Disclosure fall on?
The responsible of the Duty of Disclosure is with you. When you choose to buy a policy with us, you are entering a contract agreeing with the terms and conditions of the product or service you are purchasing, which includes your Duty of Disclosure. When answering our specific questions, it is important you understand that your duty extends to all travellers on the policy. You are answering our questions for yourself and anyone else covered by the policy.
Who can you speak on behalf of?
It is important that you understand you are disclosing to us and answering our questions for yourself and anyone else you want to be covered by the policy. It is paramount you know the answers for all travellers that will be covered. For more information please refer to the PDS.
What you must tell us:
You have a legal duty to tell us everything you know in answering questions we ask you that are relevant to your policy. You are expected to provide information that a reasonable person in your circumstances would include in answering the questions.
Put simply, be open, honest and volunteer relevant information to the questions we ask when you apply for your travel insurance.
You have this duty until we agree to insure you and you purchase the policy.
Do I need to tell you everything?
Yes, you must disclose fully all the information that we request under this policy. If you do not, we may reject a claim or cancel the policy.
What you don’t need to tell us
Transparency is paramount when dealing with legal documentation, however there are some things that you do not need to tell us. You do not need to disclose your information to us unless we specifically ask. However, you must be honest in answering any questions we do ask you.
It is also important that you understand what you are disclosing.
What is ‘Non-disclosure’?
Non-disclosure is when you do not tell us something when you are asked that you are required to disclose in the process of applying for your travel insurance policy.
What happens if I don’t disclose something?
If you fail to comply with your Duty of Disclosure, we can decide to reduce our responsibility or the amount paid under certain benefits when a claim is made or cancel the policy.
If you do not answer our questions honestly or do not properly disclose information to us, we may reduce or refuse to pay a claim and/or may cancel the policy. If you act fraudulently in answering our questions or not disclosing required information to us, we may refuse to pay a claim or treat the policy as never having existed.
3 duty of disclosure rules when answering questions
- Be honest with your answers
- Do not omit any relevant information in your answers
- Do not commit fraud by providing false information in your answers
- Remember you are answering for yourself and anyone else covered on the policy
If you do not adhere to the above, we may:
- Reject a claim
- Reduce the amount we pay on a claim
- Void your policy and cancel it.
Fraud and Duty of Disclosure
If your non-disclosure is fraudulent, Fast Cover may also exercise its right to void the policy from its inception.
If fraud is involved we may treat the policy as it never existed and reject any claim. Fraud is considered a serious crime and will be treated as a criminal offense. If we do find out that fraud has been committed then we will void the policy and go ahead with criminal action at our own discretion.
If you do submit a claim that is not true or correct and is misleading or exaggerated then you may be prosecuted under the Australian Law. If you submit a claim which is fraudulent or false under any circumstance then we may deny part of, or all of the claim.
If you or someone has authorization and is acting on your behalf by submitting any false or misleading information you may be prosecuted. Additionally, your policy will be cancelled and no refund will be made.
What happens when the contract changes?
When you vary, extend or reinstate the contract with us, your duty is to disclose everything you know or could reasonably be expected to know, is relevant to our decision whether to accept the risk of the insurance and, if so, on what terms.
Your general duty is limited for new policies
For every new policy you purchase, your Duty of Disclosure still applies.