Association of British Insurers has announced that UK insurance company will pay more claims for critical illness, income protection and life insurance where medical information has not been disclosed, unless the customer deliberately withheld it.

According to the new initiative, insurers will pay customers a fair sum, reflecting risk and premiums paid. In a small number of exceptional cases, premiums will be refunded if the insurer would not have taken on the policy if they had known the full facts.

The new commitment follows recent improvements in policy application forms and clarity of communication to customers. These are already leading to a fall in the number of declined claims for protection policies.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s director general, said: Customers want to know that their insurance claim will always be assessed fairly and paid without fuss. The industry wants customers to be able to take out insurance with confidence. Today insurers have signed up to ensuring both of these happen. The number of protection claims that are turned down will fall.