Know what you’re buying
You might be surprised by the number of people who only have a vague idea what their insurance policies do and do not cover. At DPM Insurance Group, our brokers and CSRs will carefully review your insurance policy and limits, but you should know what to look for when reviewing all sections of auto, home or business policies.
5 Tips When Reviewing Your Insurance Policy
- Ensure the name and address of the insured individual or business is accurate. A policy cannot be transferred to another person. While typically a new application is required for issuance of a new policy, exceptions do exist.
- Ensure coverage is as required and that the limits are adequate.
- Check the location(s) listed to ensure they are completely accurate.
- Make sure the insurance company is properly identified.
- Read the conditions carefully. Many policies require the insured individual or business to comply with all policy conditions before claiming on the policy. Clarify any words you’re unsure about, and if a word has more than one common meaning, ask your insurance representative how it applies specifically to your policy.
Insurance contracts rely heavily on the information the you provide. Deliberately misstating or excluding important information, or neglecting to inform the insurer of changes, could result in denied claims and policy termination.
There are the four sections you can expect to see in an insurance policy:
- Declaration: This explains what risks are covered, the policy limits and deductibles. It also outlines the amount of premium due; others who may have an interest in the policy such as mortgage holders or lenders; and, a list of form numbers and endorsements that add to or alter the policy.
- Insuring agreements: This part of the policy outlines what losses are covered; the subject matter of the insurance and description of the property covered and the perils insured against. For a claim to be valid, it must be covered under the insuring agreement and not stated as an exclusion.
- Policy Conditions: These are requirements the person buying the policy must meet to maintain coverage. If the insured does not follow a condition, the policy can become void and a claim refused.
- Exclusions and special limits: Certain property and perils that are excluded from coverage, while other insured property may be insured only up to a specified limit. Make sure you understand these exclusions and limits to avoid disappointment after a loss.
Source: The Insurance Bureau of Canada