Kailash, age 30, took a term insurance of Rs 1 crore for the financial security of our family. Kailash was a smoker and was told that premium rates for smokers will be higher. Kailash decided not to declare his smoking habit in the proposal form of insurance and took a life insurance policy under the non-smoker category.
This happens quite often. Kailash had a heart attack and died at the young age of 32. Hospital records confirmed that Kailash was a regular smoker. His claim was denied due to non-disclosure of smoking.
So it is clear that disclosure of habits and hobbies is very critical and we must ensure that it has been mentioned on the Proposal form.
Why disclosures of habits and hobbies are important in Insurance?
- Habits: Habits like smoking/tobacco/Liquor consumption is injurious to health and increases the probability of death. Many times we feel that we are only occasional smokers or party drinker and do not mention such habits. But all habits which are injurious to health must be mentioned. The proposal form of insurance has questions on habits which need to be answered :
- Do you smoke or use tobacco :
- How many sticks or gram of tobacco :
- Do you take liquor :
- If yes: how much ;
These questions need to be answered with honesty. You are showing your responsibility towards family hence declare it with honesty. In your absence, your family will suffer and would blame you for your dishonesty. Hence, declare all habits. If you are occasional or party smoker and drinker then say that rather saying no. In same way, if you were smoking earlier and have stopped now then declare that.
It is to be noted that facts, known at the time of Proposal, must be declared.
- What happens if you start smoking or drinking after your case has been accepted: Please note insurance company cannot question habits taken later but it is in your interest to inform insurance company if you have begun a habit.
- Other Habits: Insurance Company also wants to know other habits which enhances your mortality like Motor Racing / Horse Riding / Sky Diving etc. If you have such hobbies then these hobbies must be declared.
- Occupation: Insurance Company assess the risk on the basis of your occupation and has special questionnaires for each occupation like Army / Oil and Gas / Fire Fighting/ Pilot / Mining. In some cases, accidental insurance is not allowed. Hence always declare your occupation and take insurance.
Please note that section 45 of the Insurance Act apply to Life Insurance only where declarations cannot be questioned after 3 years of policy but in health and general such questions of non-disclosure apply. All claims of Health and General can be denied if the claim is classified as self-inflicted for example if hospitalization has happened due to consumption of drug or alcohol or an accident has happened due to alcohol.
If you love your family then be honest with declarations of all material facts which affect the occurrence of insured risk.
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