4.5 — Duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to an insurer

Part IV of the Insurance Contracts Act should be amended, for consumer insurance contracts, to replace the duty of disclosure with a duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to an insurer (and to make any necessary consequential amendments to the remedial provisions contained in Division 3).

Government Response

The Government agrees to amend the duty of disclosure for consumers in the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 to ensure that obligations for disclosure applied to consumers do not enable insurers to unduly reject the payment of legitimate claims.

The duty of disclosure is important to ensure that insurers are able to appropriately price the risks being underwritten through limiting the risk of fraud and misleading disclosures. However, the current requirements fall short of adequately safeguarding consumers against having their claims declined where they may have inadvertently failed to disclose their past circumstances or because insurers have failed to ask the right questions.