Declarations or “Dec Page:” The portion of your policy that identifies the persons insured, the property or automobiles insured and a list of the different types of coverage included in the policy.
Coverage: The events, persons or property for which the insurance applies.
Definitions: Definitions are used to define technical terms used throughout the policy. These should be read carefully as the usage of certain words in an insurance policy may not be the same as their everyday use.
Exclusions: This portion of a policy lists certain events, acts, or types of damages for which the insurance company will not provide coverage.
Conditions: An insurance policy will frequently describe some requirements that must take place before the policy goes into effect (payment of the premiums, for example) or actions that must be taken or circumstances that must exist for coverage to be available (having an insurable interest in the insured property or prompt reporting of any loss, for example).
Limits: This term describes the maximum amount that may be paid out by the insurance company. There may be different limits for different coverages under some types of insurance.
Liability Insurance: Insurance that provides you with a defense and pays for any judgment against you in a civil suit (up to the applicable limits).
Hazard Insurance:A term used to describe insurance that provides compensation when property is damaged by fire, wind, lighting, etc.
Stacking: This term is used to describe the situations in which the limits may be increased by combining coverage under multiple policies or multiple coverages.
Proof of Loss:A form that the insurance company may require the insured to complete describing the claim and any damages suffered.
Replacement Value: Some policies of property provide that damaged or destroyed property may be compensated based upon the cost required to replace the item. Replacement value coverage is generally preferred to fair market value coverage.
Fair Market Value: When property is damaged or destroyed, the damages may be based upon the loss in Fair Market Value—the value that the item would have brought at a sale between a willing buyer and seller.
Umbrella Policy:A policy that will provide liability coverage for a broad range of activity. Such policies generally require minimum levels of homeowners and automobile insurance.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage:If you are injured or your vehicle is damaged by a vehicle that does not have insurance, that vehicle is considered “uninsured” and an auto policy may have coverage that stands in the place of the missing insurance for the uninsured vehicle so that if you recover damages against the driver, there may be insurance to pay the judgment. If the other vehicle has insurance but it is insufficient to compensate you for your damages, underinsured coverage can provide additional coverage in excess of the amount of the liability insurance on the other vehicle.
Medical Payments Coverage: This coverage typically pays for medical expenses of persons injured in an auto accident up to a specified amount regardless of fault.
Subrogation:Some policies contain a provision that allows the insurance company to recover back from any settlement or judgment the amount it pays you under the policy. A policy may also require you to permit the insurance company to bring a suit in your name to recover against an “at fault” party for any amounts paid to you under the policy.
Reservation of Rights: This term is used to describe the situation in which an insurance company may investigate your claim or even provide a defense for you without making a final decision on whether or not you are covered by the insurance policy. You should consult with an attorney if you receive a notice that your insurance company is acting under a reservation of rights.
Examination or Statement Under Oath:This is a sworn statement, similar to a deposition, taken by the insurance company to ask you questions about your claim or a claim involving your insurance policy. You should consult with an attorney if you receive a request for an examination or statement under oath.