utmost good faith

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The fundamental principle of insurance practice, requiring that a person wishing to take out an insurance cover must provide all the information the insurer needs to calculate the correct premium for the risk involved. Nothing must be withheld from the insurers, even if they do not actually ask for the information on an application form. The principle is essential because an insurer usually has no knowledge of the facts involved in the risk they are being asked to cover; the only source of information is the person requiring the insurance. If an insured person is found to have withheld information or given false information, the insurer can treat the policy as void and the courts will support a refusal to pay claims.

Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services.

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