Insurance 101 – Understanding the Basics of Insurance Policies

Insurance can be an intimidatingly complex subject. Finding definitive answers may prove daunting when shopping for your first policy or renewing one in an industry you already have experience with.

Experts are available to guide your search for answers. Below you’ll find definitions, insights and no-nonsense insurance guidance.


Insurance policies are legally-binding agreements between an insurer and insured that outline what claims the latter are legally required to pay in exchange for making an initial premium payment. With an insurance policy in force, losses caused by certain events or perils will be covered under its protection.

State and national regulators oversee insurance policies by requiring insurers to submit financial statements according to statutory accounting principles based on annual and quarterly filing requirements. State insurance commissioners use these financial reports for oversight of assets and reserves at each company.

Insurance terminology can be dauntingly complicated for newcomers to the field. To make purchasing insurance simpler, we’ve assembled a glossary of commonly used terms and definitions. This list features key words like deductible (the amount an insured must pay before insurance begins covering expenses) and copay (cost sharing mechanism in group health plans), among many other words that consumers commonly misunderstand; understanding them could save you money on premiums!

Declarations page

Insurance policies are complex documents, making them harder to comprehend for policyholders, yet declarations pages make understanding their coverage simpler. Also known as proof of insurance, declarations pages offer a simplified breakdown of a policy which lists key details such as its term (effective and expiration dates), coverage types and limits.

Dependent upon the policy, details may include information regarding deductibles and specifics; discounts, add-ons or endorsements which form part of it are also typically listed here.

Insurance agents can assist in both understanding your policy and finding appropriate coverage for you situation. They can determine if you have enough homeowners or auto coverage and make any necessary changes or provide helpful tips on filing claims; ultimately they are an essential tool in meeting financial goals!

Policy wording

Insurance is essential, whether for our home, car, or life. Unfortunately, the terms and conditions of an insurance policy can be complex and understanding it may seem daunting – however there are a few key points you can keep in mind when reading through your documents to ensure you obtain all of the coverage that’s required of you.

At first, it is essential that you read through and comprehend your policy’s definitions page. This section clearly explains key terms used throughout its contents so you can make sense of them – for example if “contestability” appears it means there may be periods when your insurer does not pay out on claims made against you.

Next, pay careful consideration to your policy wordings and Policy Schedule. This official offer from an insurer includes full terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of coverage as well as any endorsed riders or add-ons that modify your policy wording in some way.


Insurance policies provide protection from unexpected events like sudden deaths or property damages. Each policy and type offers coverage differently; typically an insurer promises to pay certain claims in exchange for premium payment by the insured; these details can be found within their Evidence of Coverage document.

This section details which types of property the policy covers and how. It also specifies any conditions that must be fulfilled for coverage to kick in, the maximum the insurer will pay out for specific types of damage or loss, and other pertinent details.

At Lemonade HQ, we understand the importance of everyone being able to easily understand their policies. That’s why we developed an open source insurance policy with no Middle English words or page jumps – easy for anyone to read! You can take a look here and give us your feedback on it.

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