Like anything you are purchasing to protect yourself and your interests, it’s always a good idea to read through your insurance policy carefully before you buy it. While you may have an insurance agent answering questions and telling you that your understanding of what the policy covers is correct, you will want to make sure that all of the aspects of the policy actually line up with what you expect.
No matter what kind of insurance policy you’re getting, you need to read it. Yes, it may be several pages and have some legal jargon. In that case, it isn’t a bad idea to have your attorney review it before you sign, too.
Get to know the parts of an insurance policy
Insurance policies generally have three sections that you should go over. These include the declarations page, insuring agreement and policy conditions. You should go over each one of these carefully. Why?
- The declarations page will give you a basic summary of the coverage you’re receiving and the limits of that coverage. It will also state the length of time the policy covers and give you an idea of your limits and deductibles, if you have them.
- The insuring agreement goes into greater detail over what the insurance company will provide to you in exchange for your premiums. This section will also go over who is covered by the policy and if there are exclusions or waiting periods.
- Finally, the policy conditions will detail out all of your responsibilities if you plan to make a claim. If there are cancellation provisions, those may also be listed in this section.
It can be tough to comb through these an insurance policy and to really grasp everything there unless it is written in plain language. If it isn’t, then that’s when it’s important to talk to not only the insurance agent but also your attorney about the specifics of the policy.
If you do get clarification from the insurer, write down whom you spoke to and exactly what they said. Even keeping the date and time is helpful, just in case there is an issue later on.