Expiry & Renewal

 

Almost all fire and general insurance policies (that is house, contents, car, business etc.) are for a fixed term – usually one year. At the end of that year, the policy expires, and unless renewed, you are uninsured. The insurance company is entitled to offer renewal on whatever terms it chooses, and normally will send you a renewal notice sometime before the policy expires. Make sure you read the renewal notice, as the offer of another year’s insurance may be on different terms to your previous year’s insurance. Effectively, if you accept the renewal invitation, it is an entirely new contract, and will subject to the terms on which the offer was made. 
 
Strictly, an insurance company does not even need to tell you when your insurance is expiring. Most will, because they want you to renew. But it is good practice to actually make a diary note of when your policies expire, just in case you don’t receive a renewal or expiry notice. Otherwise you could find yourself uninsured. 
 
The duty of disclosure set out in other sections of this site apply equally at renewal. So if there has been any change in circumstances or any relevant information (or circumstances that have occurred) these need to disclosed on renewal. Most insurance companies remind you of this obligation in the renewal notice, but they are not legally required to. This is a real catch for the uninitiated – have you told your insurance company about that speeding ticket you got this year? 
 
When you consider renewing your policy, you need to treat it as if you are applying for a new policy.
 
Most health, life and income protection policies do not have an expiry date. They continue either until a fixed age or until death. So there is no expiry and no ongoing duty of disclosure.
What is insurance Insurable Interest Utmost Good Faith Duty of Disclosure Reasonable Care Regulation Insurance Claims Register Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Applying for Insurance Making a Claim Expiry & Renewal