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Home / Insurance / When words collide: policy interpretation doctrines and the 10 commandments. Understand your insurance better – RTFP! | Legal insurance blog about property insurance

When words collide: policy interpretation doctrines and the 10 commandments. Understand your insurance better – RTFP! | Legal insurance blog about property insurance



A common theme in the Real Estate Insurance Blog is to teach policyholders about the ins and outs of their own insurance contracts. Before setting up a new iPhone, a customer must read the terms and conditions before accepting them. How often does someone actually read through every word and clause in their terms? I get it. Long contracts like terms and insurance are not exactly "fun" to read. But they are important. In fact, every single word is important.

In his book, When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes author Bill Wilson describes the "10 Commandments for the Interpretation of Politics." These ten teachings are important for everyone ̵

1; from policyholders to lawyers to adjusters. Understanding these 10 bids will ensure that you, the policyholder, are ready and knowledgeable if you ever face a claim situation.

The 10 doctrines described in When words collide are:

  1. Insurance is NOT a Commodity
  2. RTFP! (Read the ENTIRE policy)
  3. Do not accept a claim denial as gospel
  4. The purpose of the insurance is to insure
  5. All parties have an obligation with the greatest good faith
  6. Most insurances are adhesion agreements, so insurance agreements are widely interpreted, exceptions narrow and ambiguities in favor of the insured
  7. The burden of proof in determining coverage rests with both parties to the insurance contract
  8. Exceptions must be clear and conspicuous
  9. The obligation to defend is broader than the obligation to harm
  10. a fact 1

If there is any individual advice to take in the insurance industry, Bill is a top candidate. Having been in the insurance business for most of his career, Bill Wilson has seen and worked on both sides of insurance disputes and can attest that these doctrines cover the most common issues he has seen in his many years in

. far for a blog post to go deeper into all these 10 teachings, I emphasize today what I think is the most important of the commandments: R ead. T he. F ull. P olicy.

Although this doctrine sounds so simple and obvious, Bill repeats how often coverage disputes and issues arise because one of the parties simply does not read the policy.

A classic “Read the complete policy illustration that Bill gives in his book is in the form of the following scenario:

A customer's car was damaged in a car repair shop. The damage to the vehicle was covered under the store's garage guard responsibility, but the customer wanted compensation for renting a vehicle while the damaged car was repaired. The adjuster said that only direct damages were covered, not indirect car rental costs. Applicable policy provisions stated:

We will pay all amounts that they & # 39; insured & # 39; legally have to pay damages for & # 39; loss & # 39; to a & # 39; customer & # 39 ;s car & # 39 ;. .

"Loss" means direct and unintentional loss or damage. But only for garage keepers coverage "loss" also includes any loss of use 2

The adjuster in the example above must have missed the second commandment on the grounds of political interpretation because he obviously did not read it policy, as the “loss of use” was clearly covered. This simple strategy of reading the insurance policy, regardless of which party you are in the insurance relationship, is crucial for a correct termination or settlement of an insurance claim. As shown in the example above: the words mean.

Keeping these ten teachings in mind will almost certainly ensure that you, the policyholder, have a better understanding of your insurance claim, should you ever file one. While I only briefly discussed the second bid "RTFP" in this blog post, I will follow up by popping into the rest of the bids in future blog posts.
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1 Bill Wilson, ] When words collide: resolves insurance coverage and claims disputes 75 (2018).
2 Id. at 78.


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