Updated: 09 June 2023

What Does Misrepresentation Mean?

Misrepresentation, in the context of insurance, is the act of providing a false statement during an interview or an application for a policy. It may be minor enough that insurer only needs to update or the policy or significant enough that it provides valid grounds to void the contract.

Insuranceopedia Explains Misrepresentation

For example, an erroneous statement of the length of previous coverage as 10 as opposed to 11 years would likely result in the insurer updating and adjusting the contract as needed, while concealment of a major illness may lead to a void contract.

Misrepresentation may be unintentional, but if it is material, or in other words, important enough to affect the insurer's decision to provide a contract or include certain terms, the insurer may void the contract; however, an insurer may still consider a policy valid in some cases of material misrepresentation. In addition, as the information an insurer requests is designed to assess the level of risk a potential policyholder represents, any sort of misrepresentation on an insurance application may be presumed material as it would ultimately affect the insurer's decision to insure and under what terms.

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