Doctrine of Uberrima Fides in Insurance Law


It originated from English Law; the philosophy of Uberrima Fides primarily means that philosophy of utmost honesty. The philosophy primarily says that whereas language Associate in Nursing insurance contract each the parties, the non-depository financial institution and therefore the insured, ought to act in utmost honesty and disclose any and every one necessary fact which can or might not have an effect on any party in any doable manner.

The person obtaining insured should volitionally disclose and surrender to the nondepository financial institution his complete true data concerning the topic matter of insurance. The insurer’s liability gets void (i.e., lawfully revoked or cancelled) if any facts, concerning the topic matter of insurance are either omitted, hidden, falsified, distorted or bestowed in an exceedingly wrong manner by the insured.

A certain level of duty associates degreeticipated} from the parties relating to an insurance contract than different contracts so as to make sure the revelation of all material facts in order that the contract could accurately mirror the particular risk that’s being undertaken.


Insurance contracts square measure a special category of contracts, having several distinctive options. one among them is utmost straightness. during a contract of insurance, parties do stand on equal footing either with relation to the information of the topic matter or with relation to the economic facet of the duty. because it has been seen whereas explaining.

Modern Insulators Ltd. Vs Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.

 The appellant incorporates a manufacturing plant whereby it manufactures high tension Insulators for transmission lines. The appellant had taken out Associate in Nursing insurance referred to as ‘All Risk Insurance Policy’ for Rs. fifty lakhs for installation of twenty-five M-3 oven with piece of furniture. The policy coated risks against loss throughout storage-cum-erection together with trial and testing. when completion of the erection of twenty-five M-3 oven, identical was loaded with insulators on 12-7-1988 for trial and testing and once it had been opened on 16-7-1988 it had been found that complete structure of oven {furniture piece of piece of furniture article of furniture furnishings} with insulators had folded on oven automotive and varied things of oven furniture were broken.

 A claim of Rs. 5,73,397.43 was lodged with the respondent and therefore the surveyors assessed the injury at Rs. 4,66,873. because the claim wasn’t settled a criticism was filed before the State Commission alleging negligence on a part of the respondent and claiming the number assessed by the surveyor with interest.


 An attractiveness was filed before the National client Disputes Redressal Commission.

 The grounds of attractiveness it had been expressed that the appellant desecrated the terms and conditions of the policy by victimisation used oven piece of furniture. This was denied by the appellant.

 The appellant additionally urged before the National Commission that solely the duvet note and therefore the schedule of insurance was provided and alternative terms and conditions together with the exclusion clause weren’t communicated.

 per the appellant the higher than document provided didn’t contain the exclusion clause. The same exclusion clause runs as follows:

 In the case of second hand/used property the Insurance hereafter shall, however, stop at once on the commencement of the check.


 The National Commission asked the parties to file affidavits to prove that the exclusion clause was punctually communicated to the appellant. we’ve got been taken through the legal instruments filed and that we notice within the affidavit of the appellant the letter received by the appellant from the Branch Manager of the respondent was stated whereby it had been confirmed that appellant was provided solely with a canopy note and therefore the schedule of the policy. that the alternative terms and conditions containing the higher than exclusion clause weren’t communicated. within the reply-affidavit filed by the respondent it had been not specifically mentioned that the exclusion clause was additionally communicated to the appellant.

 The National Commission was of the read that “it is equally responsibility of the respondent to demand these terms and conditions albeit they weren’t sent by the appellant as alleged, was known to grasp} the extent of risks coated under the policy and therefore the associated aspects. “

 In read of the higher than settled position of law we have a tendency to square measure of the opinion that the read expressed by the National Commission isn’t correct. because the higher than terms and conditions of the quality policy whereby the exclusion clause was enclosed, were neither a vicinity of the contract of insurance nor disclosed to the appellant, respondent cannot claim the good thing about the same exclusion clause. Therefore, the finding of the National Commission is unreasonable in law.

 “It is that the bedrock of insurance law that utmost straightness should be ascertained by the getting parties and straightness forbids either party from non-disclosure of the facts that the parties grasp. The insured incorporates a duty to revelation and equally it’s the duty of the underwriter and its agents to disclose all material facts in their information since the duty of fine religion applies to each equally”.


 The word honestness has been said within the Indian legal code and it suggests that smart intention and guardianship and caution. Insurance contracts, together with the insurance policy, area unit contracts Uberrima fides, which suggests a contract supported “utmost smart faith” in order that all relevant knowledge should be unconcealed and any material info should be withheld or any false or propaganda given. This stems from each individual’s right to grasp and there’s no shake off each material reality connected with the topic matter of the contract.

 Concealment of any material truth entitles the insurance firm to deprive the arrangement of the advantages of the insured. it had been noted that the item of taking an insurance isn’t terribly material. It will serve the operate of social insurance, however with a dishonest act by the insured, identical mustn’t be accomplished. If a deceitful act is found, the thought is unacknowledged. The proposer should demonstrate that he was factual in his intent. From the face of the record, it should seem.

This concept thus forms an integral a part of the law of insurance. It provides the insurance firm with an inexpensive probability of risk assessment and additionally guarantees that everyone the contract terms and conditions area unit well understood by the insured.

 So, to add up from the varied judicial opinions that were place forth:

1. The principle of utmost honestness, uberrima fide, states that the insurance firm and therefore the insured should disclose all material facts before the policy beginning.

2. The insurance firm or insurance firm must declare all public disclosures and investment ways whereas the insured must declare health condition, family medical record, lifestyle, food habits, smoking and alcohol history etc.

3. just in case of non-disclosure or untruth of fabric facts, the policy may be thought-about null and void.

4. This principle applies to each insurance and general insurance policies.

Author: Ashutosh Rai from Presidency University, Bangalore. 

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