What is an insurance declaration page?

8 minute read Published on Jun 24, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

What is an insurance declaration page?

Insurance contracts are complex documents that contain multiple parts. One such part is the declarations page. An insurance declarations page can be found in any type of insurance contract, whether it’s a home insurance policy, car insurance policy, or business insurance policy, and it outlines the basic details of the agreement between the insurer and insured. Find out more about where you can find the insurance declarations page in your policy and what kinds of information it includes below.

An insurance declarations page explained

Put simply, an insurance declarations page, which may also be known as DEC page, policy declarations page, or dec page, is a summary of a policyholder’s insurance policy. It can usually be found at the very start of the car insurance policy and features key pieces of information, such as your insurance policy number, deductibles, coverage, and any discounts that may have been applied.

How does an insurance declaration page work?

An insurance declaration page works like this. It is part of your insurance contract document, which can be issued physically, digitally, or both by an insurance company. It typically comes after the binder of insurance in the policy document, making it one of the first elements of any insurance policy contract.

Although it is referred to as a declaration page, it is not uncommon for declaration pages to be longer than a single page. Every time that you purchase a new insurance policy from an insurance provider, you will receive a new insurance contract with a new declarations page. You may also be given a new declarations page after renewing a policy or making changes to your car insurance policy.

What does a homeowners insurance declaration page include?

As mentioned, insurance declaration pages are a key element of many types of insurance contracts, including homeowners insurance contracts, insurance policies for businesses, and a first car insurance policy. Life insurance policies should also contain declaration pages.

On the declaration page of your insurance contract, you will find the following pieces of information:

  • The name and mailing address of the policyholder
  • The insurance policy number
  • The coverages included with your policy, including any riders or endorsements that have been added
  • The insurance limit and deductible for each type of coverage
  • The premiums charged to the policyholder for insurance
  • The name, address, and contact information of the insurance company
  • How to file a claim with your insurance company
  • The length of time that the policy is valid for, including the date it expires
  • Other named insureds, if applicable, such as banks or lienholders

For more information on what an insurance declaration's policy should contain, reach out to BrokerLink today.

Reviewing the insurance declaration page in your insurance contract

There are many reasons why it is important to review the insurance declarations page upon receiving your insurance contract. First, as a policyholder, it is your responsibility to understand the details of your policy. For example, if an incident occurs or before one does, you should know how your insurance policy protects you based on the coverage you choose. Your insurance declarations page will contain the most important details, such as how to file a claim with your insurance provider, what your insurance policy includes, and your deductibles and coverage limits.

In addition, there might be various circumstances under which you have to provide your insurance information to another party, such as a law enforcement officer. Knowing how to locate your declarations page will be useful, especially if you need to show proof of insurance or provide your insurance policy number.

Beyond having a firm grasp of your insurance policy, another reason to review the insurance declarations page after receiving an insurance contract is to spot any errors. It’s not uncommon for there to be various errors on insurance dec pages. Types of errors to look for include:

  • Typos, such as in the policyholder’s name, email address, or home address
  • The wrong type of coverage (e.g. an all-perils policy instead of a named perils policy)
  • Incorrect deductibles
  • Incorrect coverage limits
  • Missing riders or endorsements
  • Missing insurance discounts

If you notice an error, you will want to point it out to your insurance provider as soon as possible so that they can fix it. The reality is that an error on your insurance declarations page can make it difficult to file a claim, so be sure to check your policy right after receiving it.

Why is an insurance declarations page so important?

There are several reasons that an insurance declaration page matters. Since this page contains such valuable information, it can be useful in a wide range of scenarios. This makes it an incredible resource to have. Rather than flipping through a long and complex policy, you might be able to find the information you need solely by reading the declarations. Situations where the information on the declarations page would come in handy include:

If you need to file a claim with your insurance company

If your personal belongings are damaged in a house fire or you get into a fender bender accident, you can refer to the insurance declarations page in your insurance contract to find out how you’re covered for the incident and how you can file a claim for it.

Before submitting any type of claim to your insurance company, review your declarations page to make sure that you actually have grounds to file a claim. Since your declarations page includes information about your deductibles, coverage limits, riders and endorsements, and the main coverage on your policy, you can quickly discover whether your insurance covers you for the incident or not and, therefore, whether it’s worth filing an insurance claim or not. This will help you avoid having your claim denied.

If you’ve reviewed your insurance declarations page and still aren’t sure if you’re covered for a certain accident, reach out to BrokerLink today to speak with a licensed broker who can review your policy and offer professional advice.

If you have a question about your coverage

If you have a question about your coverage, including what types of coverage are included in your policy, how much of each type of coverage you purchased, or what your deductible is for each coverage type, you can refer to your insurance declarations page. The coverage limit is a particularly important piece of information as it can determine if the total cost of the loss can be covered by your insurance company or if you will need to pay a portion of the loss out of your own pocket. Please note that each type of coverage has its own coverage limit, so do not assume that you have the same amount of each type of coverage.

If you want to lower your insurance premium

If you want to reduce how much you spend on insurance by lowering your insurance premiums, reviewing your insurance declarations page is a good place to start. Since a declarations page lists not only your premium but also your coverage limits, deductibles, endorsements, and the types of coverage on your policy, it’s a great place to review the details of your current policy to see what can be adjusted to lower your premium.

For example, higher deductibles typically result in lower premiums, while lower coverage limits do the same. Fewer extra coverages or endorsements can also reduce insurance rates. Every time your policy is up for renewal, take the time to look over your declarations page and think critically about what’s working and what no longer makes sense for your needs. Making small changes to your policy can actually have a big impact on how much you pay for insurance.

If you need help reviewing your policy or want tips on what you can do to lower your premium, reach out to BrokerLink today. One of our experienced insurance advisors can also provide information on the various insurance discounts available to you.

If you take out a loan

If you take out a loan, such as a mortgage loan or a car loan, you may be required to show proof of insurance. Providing the lender with a copy of your declaration page is a quick way to do this since the dec page contains the key information that the lender needs, such as your insurance policy number, your coverage, and the name of your insurance company. In addition, your lender will want to know the details of any additional insureds or loss payees added to your policy, and your insurance declarations page will state this clearly.

If you get pulled over by a law enforcement officer

Speaking about car insurance policies specifically, if you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer and they ask for proof of car insurance, you can show them a copy of your insurance declarations page. Although you can also get away with showing them a pink slip, if you aren’t able to locate this when speaking with the police officer, simply pull up a copy of your dec page. Your dec page contains the same information as a pink slip and then some. Generally speaking, the police officer will just need to see the insurance company and insurance policy number as proof.

Does an insurance declarations page outline policy exclusions?

Just as understanding what’s included in your insurance coverage is important, it is equally important to know what your policy doesn’t cover.

While the insurance declaration contains a lot of pertinent information, it typically does not list your policy exclusions. However, there will be an entire section in your insurance contract that details the exclusions and limitations of your policy.

The other elements of an insurance contract

A few other elements of an insurance contract that you should be aware of, aside from the declarations page, are as follows:

Definitions page

The definitions page contains a list of meanings and definitions for words found throughout the insurance contract. This is not only included for legal reasons but also so that the policyholder can better understand the terms and conditions of their contract.

Insuring agreements

The insuring agreements section, which may also be referred to as the policy coverage section, is where your coverage is described in detail. If you need specific details on any of the coverages listed on the declarations page, refer to the insuring agreements section.

Policy limits and exclusions page

The policy limits and exclusions page details the ways that you are not covered by your policy. For example, the exclusions page in a homeowners insurance policy will likely state that you are not covered for damage to your home that is caused by wear and tear or perils, such as earthquakes.

This section may also state the maximum insurance reimbursement that you can receive under your policy.

Conditions page

The conditions page is a list of the conditions or clauses that the policyholder must meet in order to qualify for the coverage that they purchased. In the event that the policyholder does not meet these conditions, the insurance company will be within their rights to cancel your insurance policy. This section will specifically lay out the insurance company’s rights in relation to cancellation, denial of claims or non-renewal of the policy, as well as loss reporting and settlements. Speaking of settlements, you can learn more about car insurance settlements and whether they are taxable here.

Contact BrokerLink

Learn more about the insurance declaration page or other elements of your insurance contract by getting in touch with BrokerLink today.

One of our licensed insurance advisors would be happy to walk you through your policy and explain each section as we go. We can also explain other terms, such as reinsurance and double insurance, and help you renew, update, or cancel a policy. Get in touch today to get started!

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