If you are injured or your car is damaged as a result of an automobile accident, the information you provide or fail to provide may result in the denial of your claim.
If you or someone on your behalf gives false, deceptive, misleading or incomplete information on an application for motor vehicle insurance and if such information increases the insurance company’s risk of loss to any extent and under any part, your insurer may then refuse to pay claims under any or all of the Optional Insurance coverages of the policy, including optional bodily injury coverage, underinsured motorist coverage and comprehensive coverage. Such information includes the description of the vehicle and the principal place of garaging of the vehicle to be insured, the names of the operators required to be listed and the answers given for all listed operators.
However, what happens if circumstances change during the policy year? Are you responsible to report the change?
Persons who regularly use a vehicle must be listed as operators, and any changes should be reported when they occur, such as when a child is newly licensed. However, under Massachusetts Law, the information given in an application for motor vehicle insurance with regard to the place of garaging must be accurate at the time it is given and there is no obligation of unsolicited disclosure on an insured if the principal place of garaging changes during the policy year. Generally, a vehicle’s principal place of garaging is determined by the location of that vehicle for a majority of the year, and it is customary to charge a higher or lower premium for vehicles garaged away from the insured’s primary residential address for more than 182 days out of the year, including for attendance at school.
Auto Insurer Requests for Information
If your insurer requests updated information, such as at the time of renewal, all new information must be reported and all representations must again be accurate. In addition, self-reporting of changes during the policy year that may affect the premium will insure that there is no basis for an insurer to deny coverage. If in doubt, contact your insurance agent and get their advice in writing. In Massachusetts representations and advice of an insurance agent can be binding on the insurer.
Call Now For A Free Consultation
Contact Attorney Bob Allison if you were injured in a car accident. You may call him at 978-740-9433 or fill out our online contact form. We will set up a free consultation with you to discuss your case.