Holmes v Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society: KBD 1932

There had been an honest misstatement made by a son about his father’s health in a proposal form for a life insurance. The proposal form was made ‘the basis of the contract’ and there was a further provision in the policy that it could be avoided if the insured had made any ‘fraudulent or untrue’ statement.
Held: Swift J said: ‘The claimant had stated in the proposal form that his father’s health was good, and had agreed that the truth of this statement should be the basis of the contract. The misstatement, therefore, though innocent, was a warranty. And in the body of the policy the claimant further agreed that the policy should be avoided if he had made any untrue statement on matters material to the insurance, and this clearly included innocent misstatements as well as fraudulent statements. The rules [of the defendant society] did not affect the matter and were not inconsistent with the other provisions of the contract. It was unfortunate for the claimant, but, if a person warranted that the statement was true when he had in fact no means of knowing whether it was true of all is, and if ultimately he had to admit that it was false, his insurance was gone.’


Swift J


(1932) TLR 30

Cited by:

CitedGenesis Housing Association Ltd v Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd CA 4-Oct-2013
The housing association was to develop an estate of social housing, supported by an insurance guarantee. The insurance proposal contained a clause stating that the information in the proposal was to form the basis of the policy, and that the policy . .
CitedGenesis Housing Association Ltd v Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd TCC 8-Nov-2012
Insurers had rejected a claim under the policy, saying that the proposal form had included a basis of insurance declaration warranted by the proposer, and that since it had named a main contractor different to the one named, there was no liability . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.512347