An insurance contract is an agreement between two freely obliging parties. In order to assess the risk of being insured and to propose a corresponding premium amount, the insurance company asks a series of questions that the insured must answer precisely. It is on the basis of this information that the insurance company will make a conscious commitment. The insured must tell the truth, nothing but the truth, because in the event of a deliberate misrepresentation, he incurs the invalidity of the contract. Article L.113-2 of the Insurance Code is very clear on this subject: “The insured is obliged… to answer the questions asked by the insurance company accurately…”
Confirmation or not?
The adviser, agent or broker is under no obligation to verify the accuracy and extent of the insured’s declaration under settled case law. Since mutual trust is the basis of the relationship between the insured and the insurance company; as long as the proof of bad faith of the insured is not presented, the underwriter of the insurance contract is considered to be in good faith. The insurance company does not have to check the value of the vehicle or the conformity of the driving license with the type of vehicle insured. However, the insurance company must carry out further checks if the insured’s declaration contains elements that may cast doubt on its good faith.
The consequences of an inaccurate statement
In the event of intentional misrepresentation, the insured is at great risk. In fact, Article L113-8 of the Insurance Law provides that: “The insurance contract is void in the event of reluctance or intentional misrepresentation on the part of the insured… The premiums paid then remain the property of the insurance company, which is entitled to the payment of all premiums due as compensation .”
The contract is deemed never to have existed and the insured must repay the compensation received for his misrepresentation. In the event of damage, the insurance company will reject compensation and oblige the person responsible for the damage to compensate the injured party.