How to read your homeowner’s insurance policy

When you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy, you’re buying some peace of mind in case disaster strikes your property. But one of the biggest problems most policyholders have is they don’t understand the major components of their policy. In fact, according to a national consumer survey conducted by the International Communications Research on behalf of Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, more than half of the respondents didn’t understand the major components of their homeowner’s policies. An additional follow up survey revealed that nearly 75 percent of respondents acknowledged they didn’t have a separate flood insurance policy and 40 percent were unsure if their insurance covered the replacement of their belongings following a disaster.

 

So we decided to help break down your homeowner’s insurance policy in order for you to better understand what your policy entails.

 

DECLARATIONS

This is where all of your unique information is contained including the following:

  • Name
  • Policy number
  • Name of the underwriter
  • Description of the insured property
  • Contact information
  • Start and termination dates
  • Premium amount
  • Coverage limits
  • Deductibles

 

INSURING AGREEMENT

This section basically says that you agree to pay your premiums in exchange for the insurance carrier’s promise to compensate you for losses covered by your policy.

 

DEFINITIONS

The definitions listed here apply throughout the policy and while it may seem excessive, this section appears in order to minimize ambiguity.

 

SECTION I – PROPERTY COVERAGE

This is where your insurance company agrees to compensate you for certain losses. While certain part of this section will vary from policy to policy, they all cover damage or loss to your dwelling and its adjacent structures (i.e. garage). Lost or destroyed personal property can also be covered.

 

SECTION I – PROPERTY COVERAGE EXCLUSIONS

Your policy in this section will highlight all the specific circumstances in which you are specifically excluded from coverage (i.e. power failure, flooding, earthquakes, defective design, intentional acts, etc.)

 

SECTION II – LIABILITY COVERAGE

Under this section, your insurance company agrees to cover any damages for which you are liable to pay a third party due to any accidental bodily injury or property damage you caused.

 

SECTION II – LIABILITY COVERAGE EXCLUSIONS

Like the above Section 1 exclusions, this section outlines the circumstances in which your insurance carrier will not pay for third party bodily injury or property damage claims that typically involve acts such as rental activities, injuries to someone insured by your policy, and business pursuits, among others.

 

CONDITIONS

In here you’ll find some general information about the contract you’ve entered into with your insurance company. Some policies even include a list of what you should do following an accident in order to make a claim.

 

ENDORSEMENTS

Think of endorsements like amendments to your policy. They can either modify or delete existing provisions, or even add completely new ones.

 

TALK TO A QUALIFIED FLORIDA INSURANCE CLAIMS ATTORNEY

Insurance policies can be confusing and overwhelming. In order to avoid unnecessary confusion, you should contact an experienced Florida insurance claims attorney. We will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation