The Insurance Policy

Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. In exchange for your payment of a premium each month, the insurance company promises to pay you when certain events occur resulting in losses to you. 

Insurance policies are incredibly complex. Try reading your own. There are questions about what is covered, what is excluded, what limitations are imposed and many other sections. Some words are expressly defined, others use their regular meaning. Definitions may change between sections of policies.  

For instance, at typical automobile policy has the following sections: (1) liability coverage; (2) medical payments coverage; (3) collision coverage; (4) uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; (5) general provisions; and (6) amendments and endorsements. 

  • Liability coverage protects you when you cause harm to someone else. In other words, it pays to fix the other driver’s car when you hit them. Oklahoma has a mandatory minimum requirement of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident (so if two people are hurt, they can get a total of $50,000). With the mandatory minimum, the other driver knows that they will be covered to at least that amount if you hit them. The other coverages discussed below are optional, so you may or may not be covered, depending on what you have paid for. 
  • Medical payments coverage provides some amount of coverage for your medical bills if you are hurt in an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. 
  • Collision or physical damage coverage protects your vehicle whether you or the other driver is at fault. This means you should be able to get your car repaired or replaced.  
  • Uninsured or underinsured coverage covers physical injuries that you or passengers in your vehicle have that exceed what is available from the at fault driver. In other words, if the other driver does not have insurance or the insurance is less that your damages, this policy provision kicks in.  
  • The general conditions portion of your policy typically includes information that is applicable to the entire policy, including issues about renewal, cancellation, etc. 
  • Amendments and endorsements address specific issues that might be unique to the state where you purchased the insurance policy or reflect some special coverage that you have obtained. 

While there are certainly similarities between policies, many have important distinctions that a lawyer can help identify. Even the change of a single word can mean the difference in having coverage or being left with significant bills. In addition, insurance is a highly regulated industry, so certain policy provisions that might be unfavorable to you are not permitted by the state. This is why it is critical to discuss your case with an attorney, even if you believe that coverage may not exist.  

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed until you enter into a retention agreement with us.
Elderly woman reviewing her insurance policy.

give us a call

If you don’t know what to do or you’re unsure if you have a case, just call. We are here to help you navigate the complex world of insurance claims.