You’ve heard about it, you’ve probably seen it…
But what exactly is the declarations page on your insurance policy?
If you’ve had insurance for long enough, you’ve probably heard your agent talk about your declarations page (or DEC page) in the past, but what exactly is it and why is it important?
While you don’t need an insurance degree in order to understand your policy, every bit of education helps you become a better consumer. In this article, we’ll discuss what a declarations page is, why it’s important, and how to read yours so you can get a better grasp on the coverage you’re paying for.
What Is a Declarations Page?
Your declarations page is a summary of the coverage you have under a particular insurance policy. In many ways, it’s like a Cliff Notes version of your insurance.
Your DEC page can actually be more than one page, depending on the type of policy you have. It can usually be found within the first few pages of your insurance policy.
Because your declarations page is summarizing your existing coverage, you should get a new one every time you change or renew your policy.
Why You Need a Declarations Page
If it comes along with your insurance policy—and you have your insurance policy right there—why do you need a declarations page?
Allow us to answer your question with another question: Have you ever really looked at your insurance policy?
Insurance is a contract, and like any contract, they can be incredibly overwhelming to read, especially for a layperson. Having a handy summary right at the beginning helps you see your coverage at a glance so you can understand exactly what you’re paying for.
It also acts as proof of insurance for your lender or anyone else who may need it (such as your car lender or mortgage company).
Finally, your declarations page can be incredibly helpful when comparing policies. If you’re curious about changing your coverage or switching to a new carrier, you can use your DEC page to compare “apples to apples” and make the most of your budget.
How To Read Your Declarations Page
While your declarations page is just a summary of your policy and does not include any details about your coverage, there is still a lot of helpful info you can glean from it.
Here is a breakdown of some of the information you can expect to find on your declarations page.
1. Personal Information
Name and contact information for:
- The Insured (i.e. you)
- The Insurer (the company issuing you the policy)
- Your insurance agency (the agent you sold you the policy), and
- The lender (if applicable)
2. General Policy Info
Your policy number and the dates of when the policy is effective (and when it expires), in case you need to file a claim or reference your policy.
3. Property Information
This information will be different depending on what you are insuring.
For auto insurance, this will be the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the VIN number. If you’re purchasing homeowner’s insurance, this will be the property’s address.
4. Coverage Details
This section will make the bulk of your declarations page, so it’s important to read it carefully!
Whether you have home insurance, auto insurance, or both, your DEC page should include a list of the coverages you have, the limits for each one, your deductibles, and (for auto insurance) any other drivers in your household.
5. Premium Amount
Unlike a Certificate of Insurance (COI), your declarations page will also include the amount that you pay for coverage each year.
If you have supplemental policies or riders, the costs will be listed next to each policy, with a total amount at the end.
If you are eligible for any discounts, these will be listed as well.
7. How to Make a Claim
Finally, your declarations page may sometimes include information on how to file a claim, such as a phone number or website.
If this information is not included, know that you can always call your local independent insurance agent!
Insurance is a necessary part of protecting your home, car, and other assets, so it helps to understand as much about your policy as possible. But you don’t have to get a degree in Risk Management to get great coverage! (We did that for you.)
At Harry Levine Insurance, we won’t just sell you a policy, we’ll take the time to discuss your lifestyle, risk level, and budget to find the coverage that’s right for you. We alert you to hazards and risks you weren’t even aware of and are happy to answer any questions you may have about your policy.