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An insured party has three main obligations in relation to a claim, either by express terms in the contract of insurance or under the duty of utmost good faith. These obligations are to give notice of the claim; provide information and assistance in relation to the claim; and minimise or mitigate the loss in respect of which a claim is being made. Other obligations may also be placed on the insured in relation to a claim, depending on the nature of the insurance. For example, most contracts of liability insurance contain a provision which prevents the insured from making any admission of liability in relation to a claim brought by a third party or of compromising such a claim. Obtaining proper legal advice from a Debt Recovery and Insurance Lawyer may be greatly beneficial if you are in the process of making an insurance claim.

The procedure in making an insurance claim can be described as follows. Notice of the claim may be given by the insured or by the insured’s agent or personal representative. In some circumstances, the insured may take the benefit of notice given to the insurer by another insurer. The contract may specify to whom and where notice must be given. In such a case, notice must be given in accordance with the relevant term. In the absence of an express term in the contract, notice may be given to the insurer’s agent, provided that the agent has authority for that purpose. However, the fact that an agent or broker has authority to arrange insurance does not mean that the agent or broker has authority to receive notice of a claim. If the policy requires notice in writing, oral notice is insufficient. However, oral notice may be sufficient if the policy does not expressly require notice in writing. In order to be effective, the notice must make it clear that it is given for the purposes of the policy. Proper legal advice in from a Debt Recovery and Insurance Lawyer may be of great assistance in this regard.

There may be certain timing requirements in making an insurance claim. In the absence of an express term in the contract, notice of a claim must be given within a reasonable time. If the contract specifies a time, notice must be given in accordance with the contract of insurance. If the contract requires notice ‘as soon as possible’ or ‘immediately’ or ‘forthwith’ or ‘promptly’, it is a question of fact in each case whether notice has been given within the time specified. It is doubtful that any of these terms impose substantially different requirements in relation to when notice must be given. ‘As soon as possible’ has the same meaning as ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’. Sound legal advice from a skilled Debt Recovery and Insurance Lawyer may be advantageous to ensure that any insurance claim is properly drafted.

If you would like further information or wish to discuss your insurance matter with us please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or by email to info@navado.com.au. 

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