Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does Backdating Mean?

Backdating is the practice of assigning a date to a document that is earlier than the date the document was originally created or signed and finalized.

Under most circumstances, backdating is considered fraudulent and illegal. However, there are some permissible exceptions, including the backdating of certain insurance contracts or insurance claims.

Insuranceopedia Explains Backdating

When an insurer approves a backdated policy, they are then obligated to honor claims for losses that occurred after the backdated period, even if the policy was only signed after the insured event took place. However, the claimant normally needs to demonstrate good reasons for waiting to file a claim or for not being insured before the loss.

A policy could, for example, be backdated if something prevented the completion of the contract at an earlier date. If the insurance contract is only signed and completed after some delay on the insurer’s part in processing it (such as misplacing the paperwork after agreeing to the terms of the contract), the insurer may backdate the policy as a way of rectifying this.

When a policy is backdated, the insured may be required to pay premiums for the backdated coverage.

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