Definition: A Statement of Fact is a document that outlines information upon which the insurance contract is based. It serves as a critical component of the underwriting process, serving as a record of the risk information that the insurer uses to assess the policy terms, coverage, and premium.
The Statement of Facts document is essential for both the insurer and the insured, as it helps to ensure transparency and agreement on the material facts
that influence the insurance cover and acceptance of the risk.
When applying for insurance cover, insurers we'll typically require you to agree to specific set of declarations known as a statement of fact, or complete a detailed questionnaire called a proposal form
Key Features of a Statement of Fact
By signing or agreeing to proceed with cover on a statement of fact basis, the policyholder confirms that all the information provided is accurate and complete. It serves as an acknowledgment that the insurer will rely on this information to issue the insurance policy.
It will contain precise details about the insured, the insured’s risk profile, and make statements about specific risk management controls. This information is declared by the policyholder and is assumed to be true and complete to the best of their knowledge.
For various types of insurance (e.g., property, vehicle, health), the statement of fact includes specific risk-related information such as the property's location, construction details, use of the property, the vehicle's make and model, or the health conditions of an individual.
Insurers use the details in the statement of fact to evaluate the risk, set the policy terms, decide on exclusions, and calculate the premium. It effectively replaces the traditional detailed proposal form in many types of insurance.
Importance of a Statement of Fact
The use of a statement of fact streamlines the insurance application process, making it easier for policyholders to provide necessary information without the need for extensive proposal forms
It ensures that both the insurer and the insured have a clear understanding of the factual basis on which the insurance contract is formed. This clarity is crucial for avoiding disputes over coverage, especially in the event of a claim.
In case of a dispute regarding the disclosure of information or the terms of coverage, the statement of fact serves as a key piece of evidence. It shows what information was disclosed to the insurer at the time of policy inception.
Responsibilities and Considerations
It is the responsibility of the policyholder to ensure that all the information provided in the statement of fact is accurate and complete. Any intentional or unintentional omission or misrepresentation of material facts can lead to issues with claims, including the possibility of a claim being denied or the policy being voided.
Upon receiving the statement of fact, policyholders should review all the details thoroughly before agreeing to proceed with the cover. Any inaccuracies should be corrected immediately to ensure the insurance coverage accurately reflects the risk.
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.