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Understanding your home insurance policy

March 26, 2015

Deciphering all of the parts of your home insurance policy can be difficult. This article covers the basics in order for you to understand your policy more easily. All home insurance policies follow the same general format: A declarations page, a definitions section and sections for property insurance and liability insurance.

Policy Schedule

The policy schedule is the part of your insurance policy that provides an overview of the details specific to your contract, including the following:

 

When you receive a copy of your policy, it is important to review all of the information on the policy schedule for accuracy. Retain a copy of your policy schedule in case you have questions concerning your policy. If you change or revise your policy at any time, a new policy schedule will be issued to you reflecting those changes. Make sure to review and keep this new policy schedule page as well.

Definitions

A home insurance policy always includes a definitions page that defines the vocabulary in your policy to make it easier for you to understand. It also explains your rights as the policy holder.

A standard home insurance policy insures your home and the items stored within. It is typically a combined policy, which means it covers both damage to your buildings and property as well as your liability. Liability is the legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to others.

Property Cover

 

Liability Cover

This portion of your policy covers against legal actions for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members may cause to other people. It pays for both the cost of litigation and any court awards—up to your sum insured. It covers you whether you are at home or away.

In the event that a visitor is injured in your home, you will not need to incur any expenses except for those associated with emergency first-aid (if applicable). All additional costs of the injury will be paid to the injured person up to the sum insured without a liability claim being filed against you.

Additional Considerations

What about disasters? Damage caused by many disasters is covered in a standard home policy but some specific disasters such as floods and earthquakes may be excluded. Since policies can widely vary, the best way to be sure about specific exclusions is to read your policy. CLA Insurance can provide additional explanation if there is anything you do not understand.

Make sure to set aside some time each year to review your policy and ensure that the sum insured and level of cover are applicable. Evaluate your needs based on the value of your home, the money you have in savings and the amount of risk you feel comfortable taking. Then, make sure to read the entire insuring agreement—especially the exclusions—to guarantee that you are covered in every situation that is necessary for your lifestyle. If you have questions about your home insurance policy, please contact CLA Insurance today.

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