Reading your House Insurance Policy

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Reading your House Insurance Policy

Perhaps the most important part of your Homeowners policy is the page where all the values (dollar amounts for which you are covered) and coverages (the extent to which you are protected) are shown.  This is the main page of the policy and is known as the declarations page of the policy.


In addition to showing your name and mailing address there is the Coverage Summary.  Part of this includes the policy number (so the insurer can identify you) and policy period (usually an annual period).  Other information includes:

  • Type of coverage (usually Comprehensive or Broadform)
  • Legal address (to show where the property is)
  • Occupancy (e.g. single family home, rental home)
  • Fire protection (e.g. hydrant, firehall)
  • Deductible (the part you pay for a loss…usually $500 or $1,000)


Note:  All policies are legally required to have the wording – “This policy contains a clause that may limit the amount payable”.  This, of course, is referring to the deductible.


There are 4 main coverage areas listed with the value (or limit) for each:

  • Dwelling Building (the house or main structure)
  • Additional Buildings (e.g. detached garage, shed)
  • Personal Property (personal contents at home or temporarily away from home).  This is always calculated as a percentage of the value of the Dwelling (i.e. reducing your property limit wouldn’t reduce your premium as it is part of a package)
  • Legal Liability (liability for bodily injury to others or property damage)


Additional items you may have covered separately are often listed at the bottom of the declarations page (e.g. jewellery, boats, computers).  Also shown are applicable discounts (e.g. non-smokers, mature citizen, claims free), any mortgage holders (e.g. bank or credit union) or other interested parties, as well as any special wordings or information,


And the policy would not be complete without one of the most important things shown…the premium.  And finally, the policy should also have a printed signature or broker’s signature to be valid.


If you have any questions about your coverage declarations page or other questions, please visit our website at or call us at 204-452-4913.