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The consequences of lying on an insurance application

Insurance applications can be tedious and tiresome. However, they are necessary — and unfortunately, many people lie on them.

Such lies can occur with many types of insurance. To give a simple example, drivers looking for auto insurance might fib about how many speeding tickets they have. Other times, what the insurance company sees as a lie or misrepresentation is actually an honest mistake, but these companies have little incentive to give consumers the benefit of the doubt. If you are about to fill out insurance forms, here are a few reasons to think twice about being less than forthcoming.

Wasting money, both short-term and long-term

Fudge on your insurance application, and you could be denied a payout when the time comes that you need to make a claim. Meanwhile, you will have been paying premiums for no good reason.

To be sure, it is frustrating to know that you need insurance and that certain features in your history make you unlikely to qualify for reasonable rates. However, lying is not the answer. Insurance disputes are often difficult enough to resolve as it is; insurers are unlikely to excuse a deliberate lie or misrepresentation.

Being denied help at a time when you most need it

Whether it is life insurance, flood insurance, homeowners insurance or something else, a lie on your application can mean that you do not get help at the time when you most need it. Lies can void your policy, and insurers are trained to look out for red flags. On life insurance, suppose you said there is no history of cancer in your family, when in reality there is. You may get caught in the application process as the insurer checks various doctors’ records. But even if your deception goes unnoticed then, you might get nabbed later when you try to make a claim after a cancer death. Before making a payout, the insurance adjuster may investigate your family's medical history again and uncover incidents leading to a cancellation of your policy.

However, even if you are entirely truthful on your application, insurance companies frequently can still be difficult to work with. A lawyer can help protect your interests and advocate for you.

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