Stuff has this great article by Nile Bijoux about people being willing to lie to their insurer. Those are general insurers, but it seems a stretch to believe that the same people happy to lie on their car insurance application would suddenly become gravely honest when filling in a life application. Perhaps people don't really think of lying to their insurer as a big deal - so many do it. This is borne out in other markets too - in the UK it is estimated that it adds the equivalent of about $60 a year to every insurance policy. If that margin were applied to the 2.5 million life, trauma, IP, and TPD, policies in New Zealand it would mean about $150 million in fraud costs each year.
Lawyers DuncanCotterill have a report on the recent case of Asteron Life versus Taylor. It makes interesting reading, and is usefully timed for those thinking about issues relating to insurance contract law as part of their submission on the current consultation. Use this link.
It sounds ridiculous, but it does happen. Clients call advisers and ask if they can buy insurance, or reinstate lapsed insurance, after they have been diagnosed with a serious illness. Most insurance advisers have had this experience. It is worth recounting as an antidote to those people that believe every claim by a customer is valid - as it turns out that quite a few people will try to buy cover for certain events, not uncertain ones. Some of this will be a genuine error, some will be a deliberate attempt to obtain a claim payment where none is due. Here is a more recent example from the general insurance world - link.