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Understanding Life Insurance Clauses and Exclusions

Before you enter into a legal agreement with an insurance company, read over your policy, paying special attention to the clauses and exclusions. They contain information about your rights (and the insurance company's rights) that may be vital to you in the future.

This page:

Gives insurance terminology definitions for each clause.

Advises which clauses your policy should contain.

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Tackling the policy

Before purchasing a life insurance policy, its advisable to read it over carefully. Understanding your responsibilities as a policyholder is crucial. Your rights and the rights of your insurance company are outlined in your policy - its just a matter of knowing where to look.

The two sections to locate are:


Clauses establish the rules you and your insurance company must follow.

Exclusions reduce the insurance company's responsibility. Since these two sections outline the protection you can expect to receive, it is important to pay special attention to what these provisions imply.

We want to guide you through each clause or exclusion, help you understand the exact insurance term definitions of each, and indicate the provisions considered to be standard.

To do this, we have compiled a list of common clauses and exclusions and divided them into groups:

Those protecting you and your beneficiary
Those protecting your insurance company

When you're committing yourself to a long-term financial obligation, it's a good idea to read all the fine print, and to understand what it means. Don't skip these (admittedly) boring pages.

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