Understanding Your Insurance Policy 101

Have you ever asked yourself, “What exactly does my insurance policy cover?” Most days, probably not! But when you find yourself in need of insurance, in the midst of a claim, or possibly having to file a claim, chances are you’ll want to know what coverages you have. So you pull out your policy and see pages upon pages of definitions, coverages, etc. If you’re like most people who don’t deal with insurance on a regular basis, you’re probably saying to yourself “YIKES!” But don’t go pulling your hair out just yet, we’re here to help you sort through it all!

Most insurance policies have the same basic layout: Insuring Agreement (what we’ve agreed to cover), Definitions (defining certain words and phrases throughout the policy), Coverages (home, outbuildings, personal property, etc.), Exclusions (what’s not covered) and Conditions (what’s required from you and the insurance company in the event of a loss). What’s important to remember is that each section is divided into several different categories. For example, let’s look at the very common Homeowners 3 policy. Section I of the policy deals with property coverage and Section II deals with liability coverage.

Next, focus on the part of the policy for which you’re trying to find coverage. If you’re a homeowner trying to determine what property coverages you have, Section I is what you want…so save time and don’t even worry about Section II, which takes away a lot of the legwork already!

If you have a detached storage building on your property and trying to determine if there is coverage for it, focus on “Coverage B – Other Structures” and that will lay out what coverage is provided. From there, you’ll see whether there are any “Special Limits of Liability,” the “Perils Insured Against,” “Exclusions,” and “Conditions.” It’s important to remember that while there is a lot of information contained within a policy, it’s laid out in a logical order that helps when trying to determine what is covered, excluded, and needed from both you and your insurance company.

So remember when it comes time to sort through your policy, don’t get overwhelmed! Take it step by step, and you’ll find what you’re looking for!

Copyright © 2018 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.

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