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  • Writer's pictureKathy Hair


Get to Know Your Life Insurance Policy

Do you know what is in your life insurance policy? Before you file it away for safekeeping, spend some time getting to know your coverage.

Your policy may seem like a long and complicated document, but once you break down the structure, it is easier to understand.

Remember that everyone’s policy will be different, but here are a few basics to keep in mind as you review your coverage.

Declarations Page:

At the beginning of your paperwork, you will find a summary of your policy that has often called the declarations page.

Here you will find key details like who is covered, the policy type, policy number, issue date and effective date. For term life policies, you will also see the length of your coverage listed here.

Note: It is important to make sure all of this information is correct, as errors can make it difficult to file a claim successfully.

Terms and Definitions

Many policies include a list of policy terms and definitions written in simple language to help you understand your coverage. If you come across a word elsewhere in the policy that you are unsure about, like “insurance age” or “non-participating,” refer back to this section for guidance.

Insuring Agreement

One section will also summarize promises made on either side. You will find more information that is detailed about your death benefit, beneficiaries, any exclusions that would invalidate or limit your benefit, the cost of your premiums and the payment schedule.


If you have chosen to add supplemental coverage, you will see these details listed as well. Typical riders include:

  • Term conversion

  • Waiver of premium

  • Living benefits

  • Chronic illness

  • Long-term care

  • Disability income

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