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A guide to understanding your policy documents

Many people receive their insurance policies and wonder what they really need to know. Here’s a quick rundown of key terms and phrases included in your documents.

The Co-operators policies are easy to understand, but the insurance industry does use language specific to the business. Your certificate of insurance may contain some or all of the following details:

  • Policy number – you’ll need this whenever you make a change to your policy or report a claim.

  • Effective and expiry date – these dates outline when your coverage is in place; when it starts and when it ends.

  • Underwritten by – another way of saying “insurer” or “insurance company”.

  • Insured – your name; the contract of insurance is between you and the insurance company.

  • Additional named insured – the name of a co-owner of a vehicle or property; they have the same rights as you.

  • Legal liability – you’ll usually see a coverage limit of $1 million or $2 million; it provides coverage for amounts you're legally responsible for if you unintentionally cause bodily injury or property damage to others.

  • Premium – the cost of your insurance policy.

  • Endorsement – Also sometimes called a rider, an endorsement is an addition or change to an insurance policy. Endorsements can add, delete, exclude or make other changes to the coverage in the base contract. For example, we offer endorsements to add coverage for flood and earthquakes.

  • Insured item – the thing that’s covered by an insurance policy. It could be your car, your home, your personal property (the contents of your home), or a specific thing like a travel trailer or boat.

  • Scheduled personal articles – specific insured items you’ve told us about that are insured for a higher limit than the base policy contains, usually because they’re particularly valuable, like jewelry or electronic equipment or fine arts. Coverage for scheduled personal articles goes beyond standard coverage in a homeowner’s policy.

Your policy documents are available online

One of the easiest ways to review and keep your policy documents organized is in your personal Online Services account. There, you’ll find all your active policies with The Co-operators. You can even sign up for paperless delivery and cut down on clutter. Sign up for Online Services today.

For more information, visit our glossary or talk to your local Financial Advisor.