The policy owner must be provided with a copy of the application that both eliminates uncertainties as to what is contained on it and also assures the policyowner that the policy in his or her hands contains every relevant document. The insured and/or policyowner is given a chance to be sure that his or her responses to the agent’s (and/or medical examiner’s) questions were properly recorded and request changes if they were not.
However, the entire contract provision works both ways. The policyowner cannot claim ignorance of the statements made in the application. This serves as notification of all the terms and conditions and imposes a responsibility on the insured (and/or policyowner) to read, and if appropriate, to apprise the insurer of errors.
As a practical matter, than, the insurance agent should review a copy of the application attached to the policy with the client and the terms of the policy when it is delivered. Of course, the problems discussed above generally will not be of concern if the insurer has survived the period after which the policy becomes incontestable by the insurer.
Reproduced with permission. Copyright The National Underwriter Co. Division of ALM