Monday, February 23, 2009

Essentials of a Valid Insurance Contract

By Pooja Dave
Posted by Chaoran Hu

1. Offer and Acceptance: When applying for insurance, the first thing you do is get the proposal form of a particular insurance company. After filling in the requested details, you send the form to the company (sometimes with a premium check). This is your offer. If the insurance company accepts your offer and agrees to insure you, this is called an acceptance. In some cases, your insurer may agree to accept your offer after making some changes to your proposed terms (for example, charging you a double premium for your chain-smoking habit).
2. Consideration: This is the premium or the future premiums that you have pay to your insurance company. For insurers, consideration also refers to the money paid out to you should you file an insurance claim. This means that each party to the contract must provide some value to the relationship.
3. Legal Capacity: You need to be legally competent to enter into an agreement with your insurer. If you are a minor or are mentally ill, for example, then you may not be qualified to make contracts. Similarly, insurers are considered to be competent if they are licensed under the prevailing regulations that govern them.
4. Legal Purpose: If the purpose of your contract is to encourage illegal activities, it is invalid.


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