Monday, 26 January 2015

Completing medical insurance forms

When completing forms for insurance generally and medical insurance in particular it is vital to always answer the pertinent health questions as accurately and completely as possible. This is ultimately the basis of general insurance called 'utmost good faith'.

So if asked about a range of health issues you have to declare anything covered by the questions. This is pretty straightforward and obviously if you fail to declare a condition or fib about something and the insurer finds out then, quite rightly they are able to decline the claim or (in extreme situations) void the contract and return the premiums paid.

In 22 years of working in the medical insurance industry I have never come across a case of blatant non-disclosure as outlined above. It is relatively rare and you'd have to set out to defraud and my experience is that most people (certainly all my clients) are genuine and don't want to do anything like this wrong.

However one thing to be careful of and that does happen a little bit more often is failing to declare something medical which occurs after a health questionnaire is signed but before your plan starts. It is much easier (and more likely) to sign a form and forget to mention you have a GP appointment booked or come down with something after the form signed. Even a short interregnum period like this can cause problems.

Technically anything that happens before the plan starts might (depending on the nature of the problem and medical question) need to be advised to the insurer.

I had a case recently where a client inadvertently visited the GP between signature and start date. Fortunately the condition was for an unrelated condition and the claim was paid but not without some explaining to the insurer - very stressful for my client and I daresay for the insurer claims department as well !

So please be careful and if you're not sure on an application if a medical consult or symptom needs to be declared then just check with me or your insurer.

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