your duty to take reasonable care to not make a misrepresentation to the insurer

Please read the following before you complete a HESTA insurance application.



Your duty to take reasonable care

HESTA has taken out a contract of insurance with an insurer to provide the insurance benefits in the Fund.  On becoming an insured member, you are bound by the terms and conditions of this contract of insurance. 

When applying for insurance, you have a legal duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer before the contract of insurance is entered into.

A misrepresentation is a false answer, an answer that is only partially true, or an answer which does not fairly reflect the truth.

This duty applies to a new contract of insurance, and also applies when you’re extending or making changes to existing insurance, and reinstating insurance.

If you do not meet your duty

Not meeting your legal duty can have serious impacts on your insurance. There are different actions the insurer can take as set out in the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth).  These are intended to put them in the position they would have been in if the duty had been met.

These actions include your cover being avoided (treated as if it never existed), or changing its terms. Not meeting your legal duty may also result in a claim being declined or a benefit being reduced.

Before the insurer takes any of these actions, they will explain their reasons and what you can do if you disagree.

Please note there may be circumstances where they later investigate whether the information you gave them was true. For example, when a claim is made.


Guidance for answering the insurer's questions

You are responsible for the information provided to the insurer. When answering their questions, please:

  • think carefully about each question before you answer. If you’re unsure of the meaning of any question, please ask us before you respond
  • answer every question
  • answer truthfully, accurately and completely. If you’re unsure about whether you should include information, please include it
  • review your application carefully before it is submitted. If someone else helped prepare your application (for example, your adviser), please check every answer (and if necessary, make any corrections) before the application is submitted.

Changes before your cover starts

Before your cover starts, the insurer may ask about any changes to your situation that mean you would now answer their questions differently. As any changes might require further assessment or investigation, it could save time if you let us know about any changes when they happen.


If you need help

It’s important you understand this information and the questions we ask you. Ask us or a person you trust, such as your adviser, for help if you have difficulty understanding the process of applying for insurance or answering our questions.

If you’re having difficulty due to a disability, understanding English or for any other reason, we're here to help. If you want, you can have a support person you trust with you.


Notifying the insurer

If, after the cover starts, you think you may not have met your duty, please contact us immediately and we’ll let you know whether it has any impact on your cover.