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Dial-an-insurer

Michael Wilson reports on the role the Financial Ombudsman Service plays in disputes between claimants and insurance call centres

27 September 2002

When an insurance company declines a claim, it has to say why. These reasons will often be based on an allegation that the insured has not made full disclosure – usually at the application stage. But does the company have the proof to substantiate its declinature? Proposal forms Traditionally, the completed proposal form is the basis of the insurance contract. It was always incumbent on the insurer to ask the questions commonly material to the insurance being applied for, and the proposer had the duty to provide full and accurate answers. There has always been an overarching requirement for the proposer to declare any other information that could be construed as material. But, fundamentally, it was for the insurer to take the lead by asking the right questions. If a dispute arose as to what was asked and answered, the evidence was there in the shape of the completed proposal form. Call centres An increasing amount of business is now transacte...

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