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The anatomy of an auto insurance policy

Have you ever sat down and actually read your auto insurance policy? If not, you aren’t alone. Odds are good that most Pennsylvania vehicle owners haven’t read their policies either. Most people focus on their policy limits, their deductible and their monthly premiums.

These amounts, along with your personal and vehicle information appear on the declaration page, which is usually as far as most people get when they receive a copy of their auto insurance policy. Those are important pieces of information to know, but as they say, “the devil’s in the details.” Even though you probably don’t want or need to become an expert on insurance coverage, it may be a good idea to at least peruse your policy to know what you are getting into.

The rest of your policy

After the declaration page, there are four other sections to your auto insurance policy. They include the following:

  • The insuring agreement and coverage parts of your policy cover the limits and options you chose. Basically, it serves as the contract between you and the insurance company outlining what the company promises in exchange for your premiums.
  • The conditions section outlines the legal obligations of you and the insurance company, including how to file a claim and how to resolve disputes between the parties.
  • The exclusions section includes those things that the insurance company won’t cover.
  • The definitions section, or the “fine print,” outlines the rights of you and the insurance company. It also defines the terms used in your policy.

As you can see, a lot of important information resides in these sections of your policy. If you fail to read and understand these sections, you could find yourself mystified if the insurance company denies your claim. If you need help understanding your policy, you may find some peace of mind by having it explained to you by an experienced attorney.

If possible, it would be good to understand your coverage prior to when you need to use it in order to determine if you need to make any changes to ensure you are better protected. However, you may still find the answers to your questions after an accident occurs. In addition to dealing with your insurance company, you may also find that your situation would benefit from taking further legal action by filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim in a Pennsylvania civil court.

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