Definition: An insurance proposal form is a detailed questionnaire used by insurance companies to gather necessary information from individuals or businesses applying for insurance cover.
The proposal form, otherwise known as application form, is a crucial part of the underwriting process governed by the duty of fair presentation
. The proposal form enables insurers to evaluate the risk associated with insuring the applicant, and in turn determine the terms and pricing of the insurance policy.
When applying for insurance cover, insurers we'll typically require you to completed a proposal form or agree to specific set of declarations known as a statement of fact
(sometimes both will be applied).
Proposal Form Purpose and Importance
Risk Assessment: The primary purpose of an insurance proposal form is to collect comprehensive information that allows the insurer to assess the level of risk they would be taking on by providing coverage to the applicant. This assessment informs the insurer's decision on whether to offer insurance and at what premium rate.
The completed and signed proposal form is a legal document that becomes part of the insurance contract. It serves as evidence of the information disclosed by the insured at the time of application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all information provided in the proposal form is accurate and complete. Failure to disclose material facts
or providing false information could result in the insurer denying claims under the policy.
Policy Issuance: The information provided in the proposal form forms the basis of the insurance contract. Any discrepancies or inaccuracies in the form can potentially lead to issues with claims or the validity of the insurance policy itself. Applicants should carefully review their responses in the proposal form before submission. Once submitted, it's advisable to keep a copy of the completed form for records.
The insurance proposal form is a fundamental component of the insurance application and underwriting process. It enables insurers to gather essential information for risk evaluation, policy issuance, and pricing. For the insured, understanding the importance of accurate and thorough completion of the proposal form is crucial to ensure that they receive the appropriate coverage and to avoid complications in the event of a claim.
About the author
Simon Taylor is a respected senior industry professional and a Chartered Insurance Broker with over 20 years’ of experience in the commercial insurance sector as an underwriter, broker and director.