False Pretenses

Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does False Pretenses Mean?

False pretenses refers to the punishable crime of gaining property in a deceptive manner.

Losses that result from this crime are often excluded from insurance policies. The insured, however, can request that this peril be included in their insurance contract.

Insuranceopedia Explains False Pretenses

When someone lies or misrepresents a fact to convince somebody else to give up a property or something expensive (like jewelry), they are guilty of false pretenses. For example, someone pretending to the a relative of a deceased person in order to acquire something from the family estate acquires that property under false pretenses.

Losses resulting from this crime can be recovered if it is specifically included in the insurance contract. Certain garage insurance policies, for instance, have false pretenses as part of the insured risks. This is due to the fact that automotive dealers who use a garage to sell or buy used vehicles is susceptible to buying or selling items of dubious ownership that are validated by spurious or forged documents. Since this presents a serious business risk for them, they are likely to seek out policies that cover this peril.

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