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Customers fudge details in fear of higher prices

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57% of people fear they will be charged more or refused insurance if they reveal everything about their lifestyle habits and minor medical conditions on their insurance applications.


Axa Life research into people who non-disclose on their applications revealed 57% are afraid they will be negatively impacted by admitting to all of their lifestyle habits or medical conditions. 55% of people mistakenly believe they will be charged more for admitting to raised blood pressure. 46% have the same fear about admitting high cholesterol, 46% about previous STDs, 39% about mild depression and 34% about back or joint aches.


The survey of 2,000 adults conducted by YouGov on behalf of Axa Life, also found men are more than twice as likely as women to believe these myths.


The most common insurance non-disclosure is about alcohol intake, particularly for men who are 25% more likely to be inaccurate about how much they drink. By comparison, women are twice as likely to not disclose their actual weight as men. More than one in 10 women say they fudged this detail. One in 10 fail to disclose their smoking habits, one in 20 keep quiet about previous or current depression, and one in 30 about minor back problems.


Axa stress that depression or minor back problems are unlikely to affect a customer's price. But non-disclosure could lead to more problems with regard to future claims.


The younger generation are the most likely to be inaccurate on their applications, with more than one in nine of 18 to 34-year-olds admitting to not fully disclosing all their lifestyle habits or medical conditions. Those over 55 are the most accurate.


Life insurance: News update: September 2008


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