Duty To Disclose

At all stages you should look at any potential road traffic prosecution as a serious matter -regardless of the offence – because a conviction must be notified to your insurance company. There is growing evidence to support the view that insurance companies are looking at convictions for even minor breaches of the road traffic act as sufficient excuse to increase a motorist’s premium. If you have convictions for even minor road traffic offences in the past, you must tell your insurance company about these convictions. 

The reason that you must do this is because a conviction -even for a minor road traffic matter – is regarded by an insurance company as a “material” factor. A material factor is one which an insurance company will take into consideration when arriving at an insurance premium for you. If you don’t tell them about previous convictions and are later involved in an accident, your insurer could seek to avoid liability by arguing that the premium which they originally quoted you was one based on incomplete facts which you gave them, and that because of this “misrepresentation” your insurance policy was de facto void ab initio i.e. voided from its inception. 

It is absolutely imperative that you read your insurance policy carefully as there may be elements of small print which have not been disclosed to you when you took out the policy, which grant an insurer immunity from underwriting a loss if certain events occur.

Patrick Horan, 2020.