Evan has a current comprehensive building insurance policy on his classic Victorian cottage located in Ballarat, Victoria. At the time of application, the insurer “INTOINSURE” asked numerous questions regarding the building integrity including specific questions about the construction of the building roof and walls among others.
In response to these questions, in part due to his misunderstanding and also partly due to his impatienceEvan responded that the building had no structural issues but left a series of questions on wall and roof construction incomplete. On the basis of the responses, the insurer followed up with Evan.
Evan had recently undertaken substantial renovations. When queried by an INTOINSURE employee, he verbally described those renovations and added that the work was completed by qualified tradespersons. On that basis the insurer acceptedEvan’s application and forwarded all documents to Evan. At that point, Evan does not mention the complaints he has made to the relevant Building Services Authority about the tradespersons due to their unsafe and questionable workmanship.
Two months after obtaining the policy of insurance a storm destroys the house. Following the loss, the insurer conducts an investigation that reveals the building destruction is caused, in part by the storm but also by weakness in the structural integrity of the cottage related to the poor quality of the renovations.
- In relation to the above topic, identify all of the relevant issues in insurance law and in your discussion consider whether Evan will able to rely upon his comprehensive building insurance policy for full indemnity. (20 marks)
- Treat this question as separate from the above and answer this question as a research essay question. Explain how ‘misrepresentation’ can be a justification for an insurer to negate the claim of an insured. (15 marks)
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