What’s the deal with all these papers?

A common question that comes from our commercial clients is, “why is our policy one hundred pages long”. It is kind of like the ITunes User agreement pop up that we automatically accept without reading the content, but I would caution against this. Inside this stack of papers is a wealth of knowledge about what you are getting in return for the premiums you pay. To help navigate you through this I want to outline the formatting of most policies so you will better know where the information lies. Most policies follow this standard format:

  1. Common Policy Declarations
    • This section contains the named insured, mailing address, the stated policy period, a brief business description, and a list of the coverage parts.
  2. Common Policy Conditions
    • This section contains the cancellation provisions, who can make changes to the policy, a disclaimer stating that the insurer has the authority to examine the insureds books and records up to three years after the expiration of the policy, a disclaimer for inspections and surveys. This section also states that the premium is the responsibility of the first named insured, and it lists the rights of the carrier.
  3. Commercial Property Declarations
    • This section describes the premises, location, construction and occupancy of the property that is being insured. It also contains the coverages being provided. This section is especially important because it contains the rates for each item, i.e. an explanation of how the carrier comes up with the premium you pay!
  4. Commercial Property Conditions
    • This section contains a list of disclaimers that the insured is agreeing to, these include statements that the insured is not trying to conceal anything or mislead the insurer, and other legal matters regarding the relationship between the insurer and insured.
  5. Commercial Property Coverage Form(s)
    1. Define subject of insurance
    2. List additional coverages
    3. List extensions of coverage
    4. Provide additional conditions
  6. Commercial Property Causes of Loss Form(s)
    1. Causes of loss
    2. Exclusions
    3. Limitations
  7. Commercial Property Endorsements
    • This section lists any endorsements that apply to your policy, endorsements can include additional coverages, or changes that occurred during the policy period.

So now you know everything that you need to know about your policy right? Just kidding! What I can tell you is that your insurance agent should be your educational resource for any questions regarding the protection of your business or personal belongings. If you have any questions regarding your current policy please allow the friendly staff here at Childress Insurance Agency to be your trusted guide. Your satisfaction is our priority!

Thank you,
John Max Bolling

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 General Update