We were asked by an insured who has Fresno, CA Renters Insurance,
Why does my renters insurance policy have a definitions section? Aren’t most of those things common sense, and in the dictionary anyway? It’s not like I really needed a reason for my policy to be another page longer, printing that policy already kills enough trees!
Well… You’re not wrong. That’s why Effective Coverage encourages every policy holder to take advantage of the option for electronic policy documents. Fifty or sixty pages of your insurance policy is actually quite a bit of paper that’s not strictly necessary in this day and age. But that’s neither here nor there. Why does your renters insurance policy have a definitions section?
Your renters insurance policy has definitions in it because there are words that have clear and specific meanings in insurance. Those meanings are not always intuitive, since the words have a more broad meaning within common language, and as a result they need to be clearly defined. You wouldn’t want the word “insured” to be defined every time it was used in the policy, would you? That would add significantly more length and make the policy significantly less readable.
What’s an example of a word that might have a specific and crucial definition within the policy? “Flood” comes to mind as a perfect example. In conversation, anything that involves water where it doesn’t belong could be referred to as a flood. Pot boiled over? Sure, that’s a flood if you’re talking to your friends at work. Toilet overflowed? That could be a flood, too, in casual conversation. Even a broken pipe could be referred to as a flood, and often is by those not speaking the language of a renters insurance policy.
Why is this important? Because floods are always excluded from a renters insurance policy. If you applied the popular usage of that word to your policy, you’d have much less coverage. Water backup is a separate type of coverage. A pot boiling over is hardly a covered loss, mostly because there is no real loss – it’s a little water and a little steam that generally damages nothing at all. Broken pipes are generally a covered loss, but if you accepted the use of the word flood as it’s often used outside of the definition section of your policy, you’d find that many common types of coverage could be excluded. It’s a direct benefit to you that the word is defined carefully and clearly within the policy.
A flood is defined as water moving along the ground. There’s a bit more to it than that, but in a nutshell if you have water that’s moving along (or under, or through) the ground, you need flood insurance not renters insurance. That’s very narrowly defined in your policy so that it doesn’t accidentally exclude coverage for a broken pipe, for instance. The definitions section of your renters insurance policy contains a great deal of useful information, and it’s worth reading – just like the rest of the policy. If you have additional questions about your renters insurance, just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Fresno renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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