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Applying for insurance? Better be honest.

Perhaps there is no more universal life lesson than that of being honest. Why it is important makes a lot of sense in the everyday. Being labeled as dishonest, or a liar can have very real consequences in the real world. But, this line of thinking doesn’t always extend to all components of our behaviour; at least in those situations where the consequences aren’t as obvious or immediate.

Take applying for insurance. If you’re tempted to be dishonest on your application form to save on your premiums, or even just so you’ll get coverage the consequences can actually be pretty severe. That’s because the law says that when you apply for insurance, it is your duty to be honest. What does this mean? It means if you lied on your initial application 30 years ago, the insurance company can deny your claim even if what you were dishonest about is completely unrelated to the loss. If you failed to disclose you were a smoker, yet were killed by a derailed train, the insurance company can invalidate your life insurance policy; leaving your family without the financial support the insurance was intended to provide. Not to mention, they’d also be out the premiums you had paid for years and years.

So why would anyone take this risk and be dishonest on their application? For some, the fact the insurance company doesn’t actually investigate the truthfulness of your application is interpreted as the insurance company not actually caring that much. Unfortunately, when the insurance company does care is when there is a loss and that’s when the investigation does happen.

Insurance serves a very specific function in providing peace of mind. Be sure that when applying, and that little devil is whispering in your ear to fudge the truth “just a little,” you don’t listen. It would be a terrible shame, and a completely unavoidable one, that a little white lie that saved you a few dollars a month ended up costing you or your family much more in the end.

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