Understanding Your Auto & Homeowners Insurance Policy Definitions

Recently, our firm participated in a seminar in which we talked about the essential elements of an auto insurance and homeowners policy. We also covered Ohio financial responsibility laws and the minimum amount of insurance that you need for coverage in Ohio.

This article, the first in a series, will provide a recap of the key parts of our seminar. Feel free to contact our firm to discuss any aspect of this article.

4 Basic Parts of an Insurance Policy

Generally speaking, there are four basic components of an auto and homeowners insurance policy. (Note: many people bundle auto and homeowners together, which is why auto and homeowner terminology is used at various points throughout this article.) They are:

  • Declarations
  • Coverages
  • Definitions
  • Exclusions & Conditions

Let’s briefly define and explore each topic in greater detail.


This section of the insurance policy lists the insured’s name, address, policy number, policy dates for time period of coverage, type of policy, dollar limitations, description of vehicles that are covered, and deductibles.


There are six types of coverages, each having a specific function. They are:

  1. Bodily injury liability
  2. Property damage liability
  3. Medical payments coverage
  4. Underinsured motorist coverage
  5. Uninsured motorist coverage
  6. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage

Supplemental coverages are also available, many of which are essential. These include:

  • Rental reimbursement
  • Gap coverage
  • Coverage for towing & labor
  • Mold
  • Water and sewage backup
  • Identity theft


The definitions section of the insurance policy explains each term that is mentioned in the policy. In particular, be sure to spend time reviewing the policy’s definition for these terms:

  • “Insured”
  • “Covered auto”
  • “Resident”

Exclusions & Conditions

Exclusions are situations in which a policy does not cover you or your insured asset. Most policies do not cover all situations and circumstances, so be sure to read this section carefully. The Conditions section discusses the conditions that need to be present for compliance by the insured and/or the company. For example, proof of loss or time restrictions.

Questions About Your Insurance Policy?

If you live in the State of Ohio and are confused about your homeowners and auto insurance policy, our team at The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC can help you. Please contact us to schedule a consultation at our office in Columbus, Ohio.

Ask Tom a Legal Question »

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