(b) Kamau took out a life insurance policy. The proposal form contained the questions: ‘What is your profession or occupation’? ‘Do you indulge in motor or motor-cycle racing? Kamau stated truthfully ‘Company Secretary’ in answer to the first question and ‘No’ to the second. The form contained no other questions about his pursuits, and Kamau did not disclose that he was a keen mountaineer. He has been killed by a fall while climbing Mount Kenya. Can his wife succeed against the insurers who have refused to pay?

(b) An insurance contract, unlike most other contracts, requires a higher standard of good faith between the parties; and the law imposes a duty on the parties to disclose to each other matters which would influence the other whether or not to enter the contract. Thus every material fact must be disclosed and every fact is material if it can influence the judgement of a prudent insurer in deciding whether to accept the risk, and if so, at what premium.

Applying the above rule of law it is quite clear that it was Kamau’s duty to to volunteer the information that he was keen mountaineer. This would have influenced the judgement of the insurer as to where to insure his life or not. The non-disclosure of this fact will render the contract void. Kamau’s wife therefore would not succeed in her calim against the insurers.

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