Completing the Insurance Proposal Form


When buying insurance, be it motor, travel home or life policy, you are required to complete a proposal form. A contract of insurance is based on the principle of utmost good faith and the information contained in the form will be the basis upon which the insurance contract between yourself and your insurer will be concluded. It is the responsibility of the person requesting insurance (“the insured”) to reply correctly, to the best of his knowledge, to all the questions in the proposal form.

Maltese courts have pointed out that it is the duty of the insured to inform and disclose to the insurer requested in the proposal form so that the contract may be entered into on an equal footing. Should at any point during the duration of the policy, the insurer discovers that important information had been withheld by the insured, it may choose to cancel the policy and reject any claims. In addition, the insurer may also have the right to claim back any money which it might have paid in claims.

Normally, you are asked a series of questions which would help your insurer understand who you are and what risk you pose. These may include personal questions on your criminal conduct, health and income. Remember that all employees are bound with professional secrecy and information provided will be used strictly in relation to the insurance policy you are applying for. Your answers will form the basis as to the type of cover you are offered and the premium you are charged.

Apart from the usual personal and contact details, the information you are asked by your insurer varies depending on the type of cover purchased: 

When insuring your vehicle (or vessel), the insurer would require details of the driver and claims history. In addition there would be a number of questions on the type, power, age and condition of the vehicle (or vessel) being insured. It is also your responsibility to provide the insurer with the current sum insured of your vehicle (or vessel). You would also need to provide details of previous claims and any instances where you were refused insurance cover. 

In the case of a home policy, you will be asked to provide the sums insured for various components such as the building, contents and specific high value items. In addition, you will be asked questions on various other aspects, such as home security, construction of your home, state of repair, type of home and period that the house is left unoccupied. You would also need to provide details of previous claims. Be meticulous in describing the items you intend to include under your policy (especially specific high value items, such as jewellery, electronic items and antiques) as nobody knows better than you what items you have! Never assume that something is automatically included if it is not clearly mentioned in your insurance policy – if in doubt, ask. 

The travel insurance proposal form is one of the shortest forms. You would need to provide details of your destination and duration of your stay. In addition, it is also very important to inform the insurance company of any known medical conditions. In addition to any conditions which may affect your travel, it might be ideal to obtain a list of conditions from which you suffer and detail any medical interventions you undertook from your medical doctor who should also be able to confirm that you are fit to travel. This paper work should be provided to your insurer with you travel proposal. This also applies when using the travel policy offered with your credit card or buying you policy with a group (such as in the case of tours). 

The health insurance proposal form usually includes a number of personal sensitive questions about your health and known medical conditions. In addition, it is likely to include questions about your general wellbeing, such as smoking and drinking habits which should always be answered as truthfully as possible.
The form would also include questions of previous ailments and medical interventions, as well as details of any medications you may be using at that time. Remember that not providing information at proposal stage may prove futile because if, in the event of a claim, an insurer discovers that you had pre-existing medical conditions which you did not disclose, your claim will be rejected. 

Similarly to a health insurance proposal form, a life policy application would request details about your general health condition. You may also be asked to provide a medical certificate or undergo a medical check-up. It may also include questions about hereditary chronic conditions suffered by your near relatives. In the event of a claim, an insurer will ask questions and request documentation from your heirs as to the cause of death. There have been several cases where the heirs have lodged court cases to make an insurer pay. In many cases, the heirs were not successful especially if the insurer brings sufficient evidence in Court claiming that the life insurer failed to provide full and/or correct information about his health at proposal stage.

The above is not an exhaustive list and the insurer may ask you additional questions depending on the circumstances and type of cover. In addition, you may also be required to provide the insurer with any other information which may be relevant to your insurance policy.

Do not try to outsmart your insurer. You will regret it, at some stage or another!

Last updated: Sep 07, 2016