We reported in the November 2010 edition of Global Insurance and Reinsurance Bulletin that a false statement or omission made by a policyholder could nullify an insurance contract only if, and when, the false statement or omission changed the subject of the insured risk or if it altered the insurer's evaluation of the risk. (Cour de Cassation, Civ. 1°, 14 October 2010). In this new case the French Supreme Court held that an insurance policy can be nullified by the nondisclosure by the insured of the fact that his previous insurance contract had been terminated by the insurer because of non-payment of premium - the non-disclosure could have altered the insurer's opinion of the risk. The Supreme Court held that the insurer would not have agreed to enter into a contractual relationship with the insured if he was aware of the fact that the insured's previous insurance contract had been terminated by another insurer due to default in payment of premiums.

Cour de Cassation, Civ. 2°,

16 December 2010