New Year Adulting Tips From An Attorney: Review your Insurance Policies
Did you know that if you make a mistake on your insurance policy application the insurance company could deny you coverage? You likely would not find this out until after you, or someone else, tried to make a claim against your policy and then it is too late. You are left uninsured with your assets exposed.
Pursuant to Florida Statute, 627.406, “a misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact, or incorrect statement may prevent recovery under the contract.” I have seen this happen to my clients many times.
Recently, one of my clients was involved in a motor vehicle crash. When we went to make a claim for her personal injury protection benefits through her policy we received a letter requesting an Examination Under Oath. We came to find out that when my client filled out her insurance policy application she was living alone and had since moved in with a family member. The premium the insurance company charged her was based upon her representation that she lived alone. So, when it turned out she did not live alone, the insurance company denied coverage and refunded her the policy premiums.
You need to let your automobile insurance agent know:
If you have a new car,
If you moved, or
If someone moved in with you (anyone over the age of 15).
(This list is not exhaustive)
My advice? Give you insurance agent a call and make sure your insurance application was 100% accurate. While you are at it, why not shop premiums and add some more uninsured motorist coverage to your policy? You will thank me!
627.409 Representations in applications; warranties.—
(1) Any statement or description made by or on behalf of an insured or annuitant in an application for an insurance policy or annuity contract, or in negotiations for a policy or contract, is a representation and not a warranty. Except as provided in subsection (3), a misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact, or incorrect statement may prevent recovery under the contract or policy only if any of the following apply:
(a) The misrepresentation, omission, concealment, or statement is fraudulent or is material to the acceptance of the risk or to the hazard assumed by the insurer.
(b) If the true facts had been known to the insurer pursuant to a policy requirement or other requirement, the insurer in good faith would not have issued the policy or contract, would not have issued it at the same premium rate, would not have issued a policy or contract in as large an amount, or would not have provided coverage with respect to the hazard resulting in the loss.
(2) A breach or violation by the insured of a warranty, condition, or provision of a wet marine or transportation insurance policy, contract of insurance, endorsement, or application does not void the policy or contract, or constitute a defense to a loss thereon, unless such breach or violation increased the hazard by any means within the control of the insured.
(3) For residential property insurance, if a policy or contract has been in effect for more than 90 days, a claim filed by the insured cannot be denied based on credit information available in public records.