The policy is a long, legal document that details all of the ins and outs of the agreement between you and the insurance company. The policy is usually dozens of pages long and it comes in three sections:
- Declarations page: Usually only one or two pages long. It looks a lot like the billing page you get annually in the mail when you pay your premium.
- Policy: This sometimes comes in a bound or stapled booklet format with tissue-paper thin pages and makes up the bulk of your policy packet.
- Endorsements: This section can also be very lengthy and changes the policy for various reasons, such as when you buy extra coverage for certain items, or when the state makes a law that changes the policy. The number of endorsements you have will be spelled out on your declarations page. (See Chapter 4 for more information about your policy.)
Unfortunately, for the average homeowner the policy can be very difficult to read. You may have one understanding, but the adjuster might tell you something completely different. They might also ask you to do things that aren’t required or clearly spelled out in the policy. See Chapter 4 in our free eBook, A Survivor’s Guide to Insurance, for how to handle situations like this and more detail about understanding your policy.
If you need help getting a copy of your policy, read our post on how to Get a Copy of your Policy.