When did you last read as a refresher the whole commercial general liability
policy, commercial property policy, or any insurance policy? Practicing
insurance seldom. Generally, a particular response is a sought or researched
issue requiring analysis of only individual parts of the form and its
relevant endorsements to establish a reply or opinion.
Insurance practitioners know that answering a coverage question or giving
an idea without evaluating the policy (and related endorsements) is quicksand
errors and omissions. But once the full policy is in hand, such "rules"
can be added when reading the form to make finding the necessary response
easier and faster. These are not shortcuts for reading the policy, only
pointers to make finding the right answer easier. Ascertain who counts
as an insured. If the person or individual who suffers or causes loss,
injury, or harm is not guaranteed, there is no need to go further –
there is no coverage.
Four levels of insurers
There are four levels of insurers:
- designated (first and all listed),
- extended insured,
- automatic insured, and
- additional (endorsed) insured.
Note the policy type by highlighting areas changed by endorsement and listing
which endorsement changes the portion. Reading the section explicitly
add the endorsement wording. Compare the forms and endorsements listed
on the declarations page with the attached forms and endorsements to ensure
the full policy is accessible. This involves checking match version dates.
Reading insurance policies
First, read the insurance policy to ensure the loss or event is contemplated.
This is the most comprehensive coverage ever to be, so start here. Read
the exclusions after the insurance agreement. Unless omitted, coverage
is created in most liability and particular form property policies. The
treatment called hazardous property policies and "family and advertisement
injuries" portion of the Commercial General Liability Policy differently,
read the list of protected hazards (which causes a loss) first, then the
exclusions. Read the exclusions exceptions. Exceptions offer coverage
in particular quantities.
Offering coverage by exception is better for the carrier than deleting
coverage using a long list of exclusions. When referring to another section,
read the section immediately. Pay attention to the mentioned conjunctions.
"And" includes "or" solely. If there is a set of five
qualifiers, using "and" means meeting all five. "Or"
means coverage is provided or excluded (or whatever the list provides)
if any of the five apply. Consider critical terms and phrases.
Pay attention to the langauge used
There are some keywords to stress when reading the policy. These terms
and phrases establish, exclude, or modify coverage and limitations (this
may not be an all-inclusive list): "Not" as in "does not
apply to ..." or "does not include ..." This changes or
limitations any previous grant or denial of coverage. 'Greater than...,'
'less than...,' 'Greater of...,' 'less than...,'
'much...,' 'everything...' or some other quantifying word.
"The insured earns the 'lesser of'..." is a quantifying
expression whereby the insured earns the least or the lowest sum of the
upcoming prices. "Unless ...," "except ...," "only
if ..." or "subject to ..." each connotes a condition shift,
added necessity, or alternative. "However," discounts before
it. This term establishes coverage or condition parameters.
"Includes," as the name implies, is a concept that expands the
clause it refers to. "Must" and "regardless" There
is no alternative, and circumstances surrounding the necessity are meaningless.
"Second" is a sequence word. Any legislation regulations list
incidents or acts. Particular consideration must be paid to the sequence
of events prescribed by these words. Learn and recognize the meanings
of particular words.
The insurance company wishes to regulate the interpretation of these words
and phrases by identifying them in the contract. Such meanings can restrict
or clarify security breadth. Undefined words offer an ordinary, everyday
sense. Understand and ensure that all policy requirements are met. Failure
to satisfy the policy requirements will lead to denial of coverage. Confirm
the coverage limits for the loss. Pay attention to the mentioned conjunctions.
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