Nobody’s perfect, yet one in 14 of us seem to think we can convince insurance companies that we are. A recent survey showed that approximately 7% of Britons have deliberately provided false information on their life insurance applications in order to get a cheaper premium.
The most common aspect to be falsified is alcohol intake. Men in particular are more likely to understate their drinking habits than women, who prefer to stretch the truth about their weight. Smoking is another area which is typically understated; almost one in 10 smokers fail to disclose their habit to the insurer.
It’s not just bad habits that people feel the need to omit; one in 20 will not give details of current or past conditions such as depression or minor back problems, believing them to be detrimental to their premiums. Things like diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension (high blood pressure) are also often played down or omitted altogether.
Age seems to come into it; the age group 18 ? 34 are the most likely to lie to insurers, with almost one in 9 admitting they have done so. People over the age of 55 are perhaps the most honest; this age group is perhaps more susceptible to medical conditions which could affect premiums, but less likely to indulge in the lifestyle habits which may bump the prices up higher.
Much of the reasoning behind falsifying applications seems to be a simple lack of knowledge. Around 25% of Britons think that their premiums will rise considerably if they are completely honest about their lifestyle or medical history. While certain things can influence the underwriter, often the difference is not nearly as large as people choose to believe. A few extra pounds on your premium is worth the knowledge that a claim will be successful, as supplying false details on an insurance application will automatically render any future claims on that policy invalid. For a bereaved relative, the realisation that a much-needed life insurance payout has been refused because of omitted details can be devastating.