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Becoming familiar with an insurance policy should not feel like studying for a big test. Therefore, we want to take the time to go over the basic policy structure with you. The information we outline will assist you in reviewing and interpreting the insurance you have purchased.

Insurance policies have a Declaration Page that state the specific term and coverage limits. Pay special attention to the following:

  • Insured names - Verify the names and make sure they are spelled correctly.
  • Effective Date - Check the effective date on the policy. Verify the date is correctly stated for the intended term. For example: 9/1/08 to 9/1/09.
  • Deductibles - Take note of the deductible amounts stated. You will be responsible for this amount if you have a claim.
  • Mortgagee - Verify the mortgagee listed is accurate. It is important to notify your agent or insurer if your mortgagee changes.

Corresponding Policy Forms will accompany the Declaration Page and state the specific coverage, conditions and exclusions of the policy.

For example: HO3 Policy

  • Coverage A is coverage for the dwelling.
  • Coverage B is coverage for structures unattached to the dwelling.
  • Coverage C is personal property coverage, otherwise known as contents coverage.
  • Coverage D is coverage for additional living expenses. This coverage is for temporary housing in the event you were displaced by a covered loss.
  • Coverage E is coverage for liability claims.
  • Coverage F is coverage for medical expenses due to a liability claim.
  • Limited Coverage states special coverage limit items. For example: A loss of jewelry or guns resulting from theft may have a specific coverage limit.
  • Conditions of coverage explain the insured's responsibility in the event of a loss.
  • Exclusions of coverage explain specific items and scenarios not covered by the policy.
  • Special Provisions state additional limits, conditions and exclusions that may apply to a policy. Do not mistake this form for your total policy document.

Helpful Tip

The best way to keep inventory of your home and belongings is to video or take pictures of the house, each room and all high value items kept on the premise. Store the video or pictures at an off-site location such as a safety deposit box. This information is extremely handy in the event of a loss.