The final edit is done. Copyright permissions are completed. You can preorder here for shipment on May 15:

When Words Collide

The following is a list of testimonials to date, followed by the table of contents. I think you’ll find this 350+ page book to be highly readable, educational, interesting, and an indispensable reference guide for years to come. Over 80 court case citations, dozens of real-life claims examples, and a liberal dash of humor for seasoning.


“Bill Wilson takes his years of experience in the trenches and provides the insurance community with realistic and street-wise words of wisdom in this excellent claims handbook. For both the novice and the experienced professional, Bill’s approach gives any reader a heads-up and pathway to approaching even the most complex claims situations.” – Dan Kohane, J.D.

“Wilson deals with a complex legal subject with the lucidity of a true educator. This book should be in the office of every agent, adjuster and underwriter. It is an indispensable tool to understand and unlock the subtlety of insurance policies. It will be invaluable to have this work from one of the masters of coverage interpretation.” – Stuart Powell, CPCU, CIC, CLU, ChFC, ARM, AMIM, AAI, ARe, CRIS

“This book is a must read for every insurance professional that cares about providing the right coverages and being an advocate for their clients to receive the coverage they have purchased when they incur a claim.” – Chris Burand, CBA

“In ‘Words Collide,’ Bill Wilson has shared his over four decades of formal education and extensive experience to provide extraordinarily valuable and expert information on the many facets of the insurance industry. His book is well organized, easy to follow as a reference and packed with examples that bring to life so many important concepts. ‘Words Collide’ is a ‘must have’ resource for insurance agents and brokers, underwriters, claims adjusters, claims executives, insurance company marketers and marketing executives, most attorneys and also anyone with responsibility for the purchase of insurance for themselves and others, such as risk managers of large organizations. One of the most important aspects of Mr. Wilson’s book is its underlying premise – ‘I have always been told that….’ or other second or third hand hearsay should not be confused with actual, hard earned understanding.” – Craig Stanovich, CPCU, CIC, AU

“This is a great book for any insurance agent, insurance broker, claims person, or claims lawyer that needs to know how insurance is dealt with in the real world rather than the esoteric home of appellate jurisprudence.” – Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE

“I think this book is a must read for insurance producers, their assistants and especially those who are new to our industry.” – Chuck Schramm, CPCU, CIC, AAI, ARM, CRM

“I saw this quote today and immediately thought of Bill — ‘Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.’ — Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  In insurance, there are many who claim knowledge, yet have none. There are others who claim knowledge and have some. A few do indeed have great knowledge. But only a very rare few rise beyond knowledge to true wisdom. Bill Wilson is one of those rare few — and this book proves it.” – Chris Amrhein, AAI

“Whether you are a seasoned industry professional or just beginning your insurance career, “When Words Collide…Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes,” is a must read. Wilson’s years of experience jumps out at you from each page. Bill’s  writing style will keep you captivated.  The book becomes a desk reference in the amazing and often challenging world of Insurance policy formation and interpretation. Technical competence in the property and casualty  industry involves a continuous dedication to the craft and  a commitment to life-long learning………… with the benefactors being the policyholders, the insurance carriers  and their agents and brokers!” – Gregory G. Deimling, CPCU, ARM, AMIM

“Bill Wilson is the nation’s foremost leading expert on form, coverage, and technical issues.” – Bob Rusbuldt, CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

Table of Contents

Gigantic Copyright and Disclaimer

Glossary of Terms

Warning! This Book Is Different From Any Other ‘Reference’ Book You’ve Ever Bought



In the beginning…

Table of Contents


Scope of This Book

Why You DO and DON’T Need This Book

Purpose of This Book

Policy Interpretation Basics

  • Duty to Read the Policy
  • Policy Form Standardization
  • More on Policy Form Edition Dates
  • Policy Form Revisions
  • Policy Form Revisions…The Lighter Side
  • Policy Interpretation Doctrines

Legal and Contractual Principles

  • Intent
  • Parol Evidence and Extrinsic Evidence
  • Ambiguities
  • Reasonable Expectations
  • Entirety of Contract
  • Unconscionable Advantage
  • Illusory Coverage
  • Public Policy
  • Waiver and Estoppel
  • Detrimental Reliance
  • Reformation and Rescission
  • Breach of Contract
  • Duty of Utmost Good Faith
  • Substantial Performance
  • Statutory Supersession
  • Regulatory Directive
  • Agency Accommodations

Insurance Policy Interpretation

  • Eligibility vs. Coverage
  • Policy Foundational Documents
  • Definitions
  • Insuring Agreements
  • Perils and Exclusions
  • Other Policy Provisions and Considerations

Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes

  • Tactical Procedures and Claim Resolution Steps
  • Step 0: Heading Off Denials After the Claim
  • Step 1: Read the Policy (Again)
  • Step 2: Interpret the Policy
  • Step 3: Research the Interpretation
  • Step 4: Plead Your Case

Final Words

  • Education
  • Advocacy
  • Insurance as a Profession
  • Final Words


  • Standardized Policy and Processing Forms
  • Reference and Educational Organizations
  • Reference and Educational Materials
  • About the Author

Court Case Index 

Key Word Index



I will be promoting the book at conventions, conferences and seminars beginning next month. Below is a list of upcoming presentations about or related to the book. If you have your copy of the “When Words Collide…” book, bring it and I’ll sign it for you. That should increase the value of the book by close to a nickel.

May 8-10 – Ashland, Kearney, and Norfolk, Nebraska – “Finding and Fixing Commercial Lines Coverage Gaps” and “Finding and Fixing Personal Lines Coverage Gaps”

June 14-15, Orlando, FL – “When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes” (FAIA annual convention)

August 15-16, Phoenix, AZ – “Finding and Fixing Commercial Lines Coverage Gaps” and “Finding and Fixing Personal Lines Coverage Gaps” (IIABAZ annual convention)

September 20, Winston-Salem, NC – IIANC Young Agents Conference

I will be adding dates into 2019 as booked, so check back later.


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Bill Wilson

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One of the premier insurance educators in America on form, coverage, and technical issues; Founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University; Retired Assoc. VP of Education and Research from Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Reprint Request Information