- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 29 Jun 2017
Misrepresentation and insurance
When taking out an insurance policy, it might seem tempting to minimise the risk insured against with a view to reducing the premium. However, a recent High Court case concerning a catastrophic property fire showed why absolute frankness is required.
The case of Dalecroft Properties Limited v Underwriters , concerned a five-storey mixed commercial and residential property that was so severely damaged by a fire that it had to be demolished.
Its owners claimed a seven-figure sum from their insurers, but the latter refused to pay on the basis that various features of the property had been misrepresented to them.
When applying for the insurance, the owners had described the property as in good repair. However, the Court noted evidence that, among other things, many of its windows were broken or falling out and that its roof leaked.
The owners’ assertions that the property did not have a flat roof and had not been subject to malicious acts of vandalism were also substantially incorrect.
In refusing to order the insurers to indemnify the owners for their loss, the Court noted that the latter had made no real effort to fairly represent the risk. Had they done so, the insurers would probably have declined cover.
In the circumstances, the insurers were entitled to avoid the policy and tender the return of the premium.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Caveat emptor in property sales.
- Directors and officers insurance.
- Employer's liability insurance.
- Excepted risk.
- Failure to mention asbestos.
- Failure to notify tenant.
- Legal indemnity insurance.
- Material non-disclosure.
- Non-negligent liability insurance.
- Property disrepair and landlord liabilities.
- Specified perils.
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.