Are you having problems with your insurer? Has he told you that he no longer wishes to insure you or worse, that he will not cover your claim because of an increase in risk? In this blog article, Assurances Multi-Risques would like to teach you what the terms “increased risk” mean for an insurer and therefore help you to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. Indeed, insurers will often cite the notion of increased risk when refusing to honor a client’s claim, something few Quebec clients are aware of.
On what base can an insurer cite the notion of increased risk?
Let’s start from the beginning: all insurance contracts, whether they be car, home or business contracts, include a section entitled General Provisions. This portion of the contract refers to sections 2466 and 2467 of the Quebec Civil Code which state that you, as a client, are required to notify your insurer of anything that is under your control that might increase the risks cited in the contract if such factors are liable to modify your insurance premium or the insurer’s desire to offer you insurance coverage. When informed of your changed circumstances, the insurer may choose either to impose a surcharge or to terminate your insurance contract in writing.
A few examples of increased risk
In the course of our work, we have been made aware of several circumstances in which insurers cite an increased risk. Here are a few examples :
- Uninhabited property (vacant home or building)
- Adding an occasional driver, i.e. a young driver
- Adopting an animal, for example a dog such as a Pitbull, Doberman or Rottweiler
- Adding a new spouse that has a criminal record
- Operating a business such as a daycare centre at home
- Renting bedrooms in your home
- Using your car for professional purposes
- Adding specialty work, such as welding for example, to your current business in another location than that mentioned on your original insurance contract
We understand that you are living life in the fast lane and that certain things might elude you. To prevent problems, however, Assurances Multi-Risques recommends that you contact your insurance broker or agent as soon as you make a change in your way of life. Taking a few minutes to inform your insurance company of important changes in your life could spare you a lot of time, trouble and money in future. By doing this, you will also be protecting your financial wealth. Even if contacting your insurer or, in certain cases, finding a new insurer because of increased risks takes time and effort, it’s always preferable to be well protected in order to sleep soundly at night. Remember, better to be safe than sorry!