‘My insurer cancelled my policy and turned down my claim because they said I’d made a misrepresentation when I took out the insurance’

Buildings insurance Subsidence Insurance

We look into Benjamin's complaint about his motor insurance policy being cancelled after his insurer said he made a misrepresentation when he took out the policy. 

What happened

Benjamin complained that his insurer had cancelled his policy and turned down his claim. The insurer said he’d told them he didn’t have any motoring convictions or fixed penalty endorsements when he took out the policy online.

How we helped

We established that when Benjamin took out the policy online, his insurer asked him whether he had any motor convictions or fixed penalty offences in the last five years and he’d answered ‘no’. They’d also established by checking his driving licence that he had a DR10 (drink driving) conviction two years before taking out the policy. Benjamin had told the insurer he was embarrassed about the conviction and didn’t realise it would affect his insurance. We established by checking the insurer’s underwriting guide that if Benjamin had answered the question ‘yes’ and told the insurer about the conviction it wouldn’t have offered him cover at all.

Our decision

We were satisfied that Benjamin hadn’t taken reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation. And as the insurer wouldn’t have offered cover if Benjamin had told them about the conviction, we were satisfied it was a qualifying misrepresentation and the insurer was entitled to void the policy and refuse his claim. We also decided Benjamin’s misrepresentation was deliberate and so the insurer didn’t have to return his premium.