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“Read Before Signing” Paragraphs Not To Be Taken Lightly
The Court’s decision in Duker demonstrated the Court’s method for interpretation of potentially ambiguous provisions of an electronic insurance application. Consistent with existing law, the Court held the insured party responsible for the contents of the application she signed, even when she was led through the process by an agent. The Court looked at the plain language of each provision of the application regarding disclosure of potential drivers, and also looked at the contract as a whole. Although Plaintiff identified two provisions that appeared to conflict, the Court held that the application clearly and unambiguously required Plaintiff to disclose all members of her household who were age 14 or older. In coming to its decision, the Court identified several other parts of the application that clearly requested that information, including a paragraph above the signature line entitled, “Applicant’s Statement – Read Before Signing.”
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