Getting to Know Your Insurance Policy

An insurance policy is a legal agreement between the insurance company (the insurer) and the insured person(s), business, or organization (the insured). Reading your policy ensures that it matches your requirements and that you are aware of both your and the insurance company’s duties in the event of a loss. Many people buy insurance policies without fully knowing what is covered, what is excluded from coverage, and what criteria must be followed in order for coverage to apply in the event of a loss. Consumers should read and comprehend their full policy to prevent complications and arguments with their insurance carrier in the case of a loss, according to the SCDOI.

An Insurance Contract’s Basics

An insurance contract has four main components:
o Page of Declaration
o Affirmation of Agreement
o Exclusions \so Conditions
It’s crucial to remember that each kind of coverage, such as collision coverage, medical payment coverage, liability policy, and so on, may have its own set of exclusions and limitations. You should carefully examine the terminology for the precise coverage that pertains to your loss.
Page 1 of the Declaration
The first page of an insurance policy is normally this page. It specifies who is covered, what risks or property are covered, the policy limits, and the duration of the insurance (i.e. time the policy is in force).
An automotive policy’s Declarations Page, for example, will include the make, model, and VIN number of the vehicle covered, as well as the name of the individual covered, the premium amount, and the deductible (the amount you will have to pay for a claim before an insurer pays its portion of a covered claim).
The name of the person covered and the face value of the life insurance policy (e.g. $25,000, $50,000, etc.) will also appear on the Declarations Page of a life insurance policy.

The Assurance Contract

This is an overview of the insurance company’s primary promises and what is covered. The insurer commits to perform specific things under the Insuring Agreement, such as pay damages for certain risks, provide particular services, or defend the insured in a liability case. There are two primary types of insurance contracts:
o Named–hazards coverage, which exclusively covers the perils that are expressly named in the policy. It is not covered if the risk is not specified.
o All–risk coverage, which covers all losses except those that are explicitly excluded. It is covered if the loss is not excluded. All-risk life insurance plans are the most common.
The List of Exclusions
Exclusions void the Insuring Agreement’s coverage. Exclusions are divided into three categories: o Excluded perils or sources of loss
o Losses not included
o Property that is not included
Flood, earthquake, and radioactive radiation are examples of risks that are often excluded under a homeowners insurance. Damage from normal wear and tear is a common example of an excluded loss under an automotive coverage. Personal property such as a vehicle, a cat, or an aircraft are examples of excluded items under a homeowners insurance.
The Situation
Conditions are clauses in a policy that restrict or qualify the insurer’s guarantee to pay or perform. The insurer has the right to refuse a claim if the policy criteria are not satisfied. The necessity to register a proof of loss with the business, to secure property after a loss, and to participate during the firm’s investigation or defense of a liability lawsuit are all common requirements under a policy.

Definitions

The Definitions portion of most policies describes particular terminology used in the policy. It might be a stand-alone section or a sub-section of another. It is critical to read this part in order to comprehend the policy’s terminology.
Riders and Endorsements
At the time of policy renewal, an insurer may amend the wording or coverage of a policy. Endorsements and Riders are written terms that supplement, replace, or amend the original insurance contract’s contents. In most jurisdictions, the insurer is obligated to provide you a copy of the policy modifications. It’s critical to study all Endorsements and Riders to understand how your policy has evolved and if it’s still appropriate for your requirements.
Do you want to go through your policy again?
Please contact your insurance agent or firm to acquire a copy of your policy.

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