Fair Presentation of the Risk Before Waiver – Life insurers avoid contracts of insurance based on non-disclosure
On 26 June 2015 the Supreme Court of Victoria handed down its decision in Montclare v Metlife Insurance Ltd  VSC 306 (Montclare) and on 30 June 2015 the Supreme Court of New South Wales handed down the decision of Hitchens v Zurich Australian Ltd NSWSC 825 (Hitchens). In both matters, the insurers successfully avoided life insurance contracts based on fraudulent misrepresentation and fraudulent breach of the duty of disclosure. A significant issue in Hitchens was whether the insurer had waived compliance with the duty of disclosure. This and other useful lessons from these decisions are discussed.
Significant cases, legislation or articles referred to
- Montclare v Metlife Insurance Ltd  VSC 306
- Hitchens v Zurich Australian Ltd  NSWSC 825
- Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)
- Claude R Ogden & Co Pty Ltd v Reliance Fire Sprinkler Co Pty Ltd  2 NSWLR 7