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ECONOMIDES v COMMERCIAL UNION ASSURANCE CO PLC

LLR: Insurance & Reinsurance

ECONOMIDES v COMMERCIAL UNION ASSURANCE CO PLC

[1998] Lloyd's Rep IR 9

COURT OF APPEAL

Before Lord Justice SIMON BROWN, Lord Justice PETER GIBSON and Sir lain GLIDEWELL

Householders insurance - Non-disclosure - Misrepresentation - Sum insured increased from £12,000 to £16,000 - Burglary resulting in loss of valuables - True value found to be £40,000 - Representation by assured to insurers on renewal that he believed full contents value to be £16,000 - Whether assured under obligation to carry out specific enquiries or otherwise take steps to provide objective justification for valuations - Whether “knowledge” in declaration meant actual knowledge, subject only to qualification that insured could not be heard to say that he did not know fact when he had wilfully and deliberately shut his eyes to evidence of that fact - Governing principle on duty of disclosure where assured effected insurance cover as private individual and not in ordinary course of business - Whether assured under obligation to make further enquiries to establish reasonable grounds for belief in accuracy of valuations - Meaning of “I declare... to the best of my knowledge and belief in proposal form - Whether policy liable to be avoided at option of insurers if insured, in giving insurers (whether in proposal form or on renewal) a value for what is to be insured, gives too low a value, even though insured in giving that value was purporting to do so to the best of his knowledge and belief and was acting honestly and-subjectively- reasonably.

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