Insurance can be confusing, but can be broken into two basic categories: claims-made or occurrence policies. It’s important to know which you have and the difference between these policies.

Claims-made policies require a claim to be made against the insured—and reported to the insurer—during the policy period, or effective dates. Claims-made policies can also include a provision that allows a claim to be reported after the policy has expired or been cancelled if the incident in question took place while the policy was still active.

Occurrence policies are a little different, in that they protect the policy holder from a covered incident even if the claim is made after the policy is no longer active. This allows for a bigger window to report claims. With some extended statutes of limitations, claims can occur during the policy period, but not be reported for years after the policy is expired. This gives occurrence policies an extended value to policy holders.

It is important to educate yourself on coverage prior to purchasing a policy. For more information on these types of policies, and on the language of insurance, check out this blog produced by Lockton Affinity.


Coverage may not be available in all states and is subject to actual policy terms and conditions.  Coverage is provided by an excess/surplus lines insurer which is not licensed by or subject to the supervision of the insurance department of your state of residence. Policy coverage forms and rates are not subject to regulation by the insurance department of your state of residence. Excess/surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and therefore insureds are not protected by such funds in the event of the insurer’s insolvency.