Mis-Representation In An Application For Insurance

Dallas insurance lawyers can tell you that one of the quickest ways to get a claim denied is for there to be a mis-representation in an application for insurance. The Insurance Journal published a story discussing mis-represntations in April of 2016. The title of the story is, Half of Insurance Shoppers Giving Inaccurate Information.
It seems there’s no shortage of financial dishonesty. Two recent surveys seem to indicate that many of us are perfectly willing to lie to save a few bucks.
A survey of 2,115 American adults from NerdWallet released last month shows a surprising number of people will tell a financial lie, and that many would even consider lying if it could result in federal prosecution.
A more recent survey from online insurance comparison shopping site CoverHound shows 51 percent of quoted insurance shoppers provided inaccurate information either by accident or intentionally.
That survey shows Baby Boomers were “more accurate than Millennials,” with 6 percent more youngsters providing inaccurate information than their older counterparts. More than 53 percent of Millennials in the survey provided inaccurate information, while Gen Xers came in at roughly 50 percent followed by Baby Boomers at 47 percent.
Keith Moore, CEO of CoverHound, sidestepped a question about whether this means Millennials are big, fat liars, but he was more than willing to give his take on what this means for carriers, agents and consumers.
The impact, at first glance at least, is negligible for agents and carriers using third-party information to validate any information before binding, Moore said.
“Where the downside is for the shoppers, who 51 percent of the time are giving inaccurate information, is it’s taking them a little longer to go through a true comparison shopping process and finding the best rates available,” he said.
The most common misrepresentation in the survey was the indication of prior insurance, whether it was dates, price range or the coverage amounts.
“We’re seeing that consumers are not always accurately portraying whether they have current insurance, or previous insurance or are currently insured as we call it,” Moore said.
The survey shows homeowners were more accurate than renters, with renters being 4 percent more likely to omit or provide inaccurate information versus homeowners.
The biggest surprise in the survey for Moore was the small difference between lower and higher risk shoppers. Only 2 percent more of the higher risk shoppers omitted or provided inaccurate information either intentionally or by accident compared with lower risk shoppers.
The CoverHound survey also found that women and men lied equally. Nearly the same percent of male and female shoppers omitted or provided inaccurate information either intentionally or by accident.
That finding flies in the face of one of the findings in the NerdWallet survey, which shows men are sometimes twice as willing to tell a financial lie as women.
Roughly 30 percent of men in the NerdWallet survey were fine with lying to the IRS compared with 18 percent of women, and 25 percent of men were willing to lie for lower auto insurance rates compared with 16 percent of women.
Twice as many men (16 percent vs. 8 percent) were fine with lying about their income on a credit card or loan application.
The problem with information not being correct on an application for insurance is that it is grounds for an insurance company to deny claims made on the policy. One saving grace is that , according to the Texas Insurance Code, Section 705.104, a mis-representation made in a life insurance policy cannot be used against an insured unless the loss occurs within two years of the policy inception. Also, Section 705.004 says the mis-representation has to be material to the loss.