Late-night host Stephen Colbert coined a term years ago to characterize the shiftiness of politicians concerning statements of dubious honesty and integrity. Colbert called such examples instances of “truthiness” – statements that approximated the truth, but still left enough wiggle room for the person to escape blame or responsibility.
When it comes to securing insurance coverage, though, “truthiness” just won’t cut it. Policy warrant statements make sure of that.
Warrants essentially establish that when a person or organization signs an application, he or she guarantees that information contained in the application is indeed truthful. On occasion, such warrants put into a policy can later be used to decline losses if the insurer feels that the insured was not truthful in the application.
The International Risk Management Institute defines a warrant as “a statement of fact given to an insurer by the insured concerning the insured risk which, if untrue, will void the policy.”
The temptation to skirt uncomfortable facts or to gloss over or minimize the actual details of a less-than-ideal situation can be strong. But taking that step in order to secure a more advantageous rate or terms of coverage upfront can – and most likely will – surely backfire, should the moment arrive when a claim is filed and investigated.
Miguel de Cervantes, in his classic novel from the 17th Century, “Don Quixote,” may have put it best four centuries ago when he wrote: “The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.” In other words, the truth always comes out. Best to tell it right at the start, even when dealing with something as ordinary as applying for an insurance policy.
Copyright 2019 The Reschini Group
The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.