What is an Insurance Disclaimer?
An insurance disclaimer is a legal statement outlining the responsibilities of a person or agency providing information about insurance, with the goal of reducing legal liability. Insurance disclaimers are usually used by government agencies concerned with insurance and consumer protection so consumers are aware of the limitations of the services offered, and they are also included in communications between insurance companies or agents and their customers. The disclaimer should be read carefully, as it may include details on the rights and responsibilities of the insurance consumer.
In an example of an insurance disclaimer, when an agent generates a quote for a prospective customer, the quote will include a statement noting that it is only a quote, not an offer of coverage, and that no coverage is provided until the customer enters into a contract with the insurance company. The disclaimer would also note that the price of the policy may change if additional information about the customer or the object being insured surfaces. This statement is usually generated automatically when the quote is printed, and insurance agents can select from a number of templates for different applications.
The disclaimer limits liability by making the responsibilities of the issuer of the statement very clear. For instance, if someone applies for car insurance and receives a quote without disclosing a major accident, that person cannot turn around and sue when the price of the policy goes up after the insurance agency finds out about the accident, because the insurance disclaimer specifically covers such situations.
The insurance disclaimer can also provide information about responsibilities the client has, such as an obligation to act on an insurance quote within a set period of time, to fully disclose relevant information, and to respond to communications from the insurer in a timely fashion. If people do not follow through on these responsibilities, the insurer does not accept liability for the consequences.
Information in an insurance disclaimer can be useful to have. In cases where people are asked to sign legal documents with a disclaimer, they should read the statement carefully, as signing indicates their acceptance of the disclaimer. If they later take the insurer to court, the signed statement can be used against them as an argument that they should have known about an issue brought up in the disclaimer. If a disclaimer is not clear, consumers can ask to have it explained in plain language or can request a copy for review by an attorney before signing anything.
@indemnifyme - That's interesting. I don't think I would bother to get an insurance quote without letting them pull my reports. What's the point if it's not going to be completely accurate?
One other insurance disclaimer I've seen is when I made a change to my policy. I got something in the mail stating the change had been made, and there was disclaimer on it. The disclaimer said that if the policy was terminated at the time the change was made, the change wouldn't take effect. This made sense to me, and my policy was active, so I didn't worry about it!
I can tell you from personal experience that it's a good think insurance quotes include a disclaimer about the price. Part of my job is doing insurance quotes for people, and the quoted price often isn't the same as the final price!
The best way to get an accurate quote is to get the persons permission to order their consumer reports.
However, some people refuse to let you order their reports. Obviously, you can only give the a ball park figure if you can't order there reports. A lot of factors affect the price of auto insurance!
For instance, I had a customer I did a quote for who wouldn't let me order his reports and didn't disclose his many car accidents to me! He liked the price I quoted him, so he told me I could order his reports so we could get the policy started.
Both of us were in for a surprise when the reports came! Based on his loss history, he wasn't even eligible to be insured by my company. If he had either disclosed his history or let me order his reports we could have saved ourselves both time and trouble!
When my son got his driver's license he got several speeding tickets in a short period of time and had to go on high risk insurance.
Even though he had is own car insurance policy, our car insurance company had us sign disclaimer on our policy. This stated that if our son drove one of our vehicles and was involved in any kind of accident, there would be no insurance coverage.
This became kind of a hassle from time to time, but I could see where the insurance company was trying to protect themselves.
Eventually he was able to get off the high risk insurance and they removed the disclaimer.
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