How to Draft and Interpret Insurance Policies - Print Edition

By: Jeff Woodward, CPCU, CRISRichard J. Scislowski, J.D., CPCU, CRIS
How to Draft and Interpret Insurance Policies - Print Edition

How to Draft and Interpret Insurance Policies - Print Edition

Product type: Book

Publication Date(s): 1999, 2007, 2010

Edition: Third

Court Cases: 400+

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Most insurance, risk management, and legal professionals are never taught the proper way to read and interpret an insurance policy, discover drafting errors, or correct poorly worded policy language. Unfortunately, this lack of training results in surprise coverage denials, missed opportunities when reviewing competitors’ policies, damage to professional reputation, lost clients, and bad faith or other legal claims that could have been avoided with accurate insight.

Recognizing that you, your team, and the industry need some help on this front, IRMI has responded with a new edition of How To Draft and Interpret Insurance Policies. This working tool guides legal and risk professionals step by step through the process of interpreting existing policy language, from applying a basic coverage analysis, to looking for overriding concerns, to understanding advanced coverage issues like the reasonable expectations doctrine.

How To Draft explains what to look out for in terms of words, phrases, punctuation, and formatting, along with the negative and positive implications of specific wording. The knowledge and insights in this powerful book will improve the ability of any legal or risk professional to quickly and correctly determine how a policy does or does not apply to a claim scenario or to draft bulletproof policy language that clearly conveys coverage intent.

How To Draft & Interpret Insurance Policies covers these topics.

  • Fundamental Principles of Policy Interpretation
  • Basic Coverage Analysis
  • Overriding Concerns
  • Advanced Coverage Issues
  • Statutes and Administrative Law
  • Public Policy
  • Promises, Conditions, and Representations
  • Insuring Agreements and Exclusions
  • Endorsements and Other Customized Provisions
  • Semantic Ambiguity
  • Syntactic Ambiguity
  • Contextual Ambiguity
  • Style

Agents, Brokers and Account Support Staff

  • Quickly learn the right way to read and interpret policy wording that is the foundation of your success.
  • Identify mistakes in your competitor's policies to pick up new business.
  • Avoid wording and punctuation catastrophes in your current policies.
  • Understand mistakes made by claims adjusters so you are prepared to deal with wrongful claim denials.
  • Differentiate yourself from your competition and acquire and keep more profitable business as a result.
  • Design acceptable and effective manuscript endorsements.
  • Train your staff inexpensively!

Risk Managers, Financial Executives & Insurance Buyers

  • Identify and correct policy wording problems!
  • Avoid costly surprises when a major loss occurs.
  • Critically evaluate one insurance proposal against another on the accuracy and appropriateness of policy wording and structure.
  • Recognize whether an agent and their staff really know what they are doing.


  • Increase your product knowledge.
  • Discover and correct policy wording errors and critical punctuation flaws.
  • Earn the trust and respect of your agents, brokers, and insureds.
  • Get the policy structured right the first time to avoid loss of profitable accounts when errors are discovered later—sometimes the hard way!
  • Train your staff inexpensively!

Claims Adjusters

  • Make the right coverage call from the start and support the rationale of your claim decisions.
  • Structure rock-solid reservation of rights letters.
  • Avoid disputes and increase customer retention.
  • Train your staff inexpensively and give them what they really need to improve their performance.


  • Gives the insight and leverage you need to go toe-to-toe with big coverage firms.
  • Secure more clients by differentiating your policy expertise over other lawyers.
  • Know when to fight and when to settle.
  • Train associates inexpensively on the unique nuances of insurance contract interpretation.


  • Helps you understand the meaning and legal consequences of policy provisions.
  • Provides insight on how to modify policy language to fit a particular risk scenario.
  • Provides third-party support for your coverage interpretations.
  • Gives you valuable insight for dealing with claims disputes.


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