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  Insuring Agreements

The insuring agreements specify what the insurance company has agreed to pay for or to provide in exchange for the premium. Often a policy contains a section clearly marked insuring agreements, although there may be additional agreements buried in the policy. Also, the policy may call an insuring agreement a coverage and many policies include more than one coverage. For example, a commercial general liability (CGL) policy may provide Coverage A - Bodily Injury and Property Damage, Coverage B - Personal and Advertising Injury, and Coverage C - Medical Payments. Some policies, such as commercial general liability, contain separate insurance agreements for each coverage area. Policies also call insuring agreements supplemental,additional, or extended coverages.

An insurance policy begins by declaring what it covers and then proceeds to restrict, limit, and exclude coverages. For example, under a directors' and officers' liability policy, the insuring agreement may state that "the company will pay on behalf of the insured all loss that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay due to a claim first made against the insured during the policyperiod because of a wrongful act." As you read the policy, you must research the definitions of insured, loss, claim, policy period, and wrongful act to determine if the policy will cover the incident and for whom. You cannot simply read the insuring agreements to understand the coverage. Read the entire policy and refer back to the various insuring agreements and other provisions to understand the coverages and limitations.

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