Your insurance policy's declaration page, or "dec page," is a summary of all your policy information. It includes the policy number and effective dates, what types of coverage you have, what the policy's limits are, and personal information about the individuals insured or holding liens against the property. The declaration page for an auto insurance policy will also include your vehicle's VIN, year, make, and model, as well as the mileage and information about your driving history.
What Does an Insurance Declaration Page Contain?
An insurance policy's declaration page serves as a condensed overview of your entire insurance policy. It outlines both the personal information about the insured as well as coverage details and effective dates.
While different policies vary, the following items are typically included on a declaration page:
- Your name and address
- The name of your insurance agent(s)
- The name and address of any lender (loss payee) that holds a lien against your property
- Your policy number
- The policy's effective dates
- The types of perils or damage you're covered against (e.g. flood or fire)
- The policy's limits, premiums, and deductibles
- Information regarding where and how to file a claim
Homeowners insurance declaration pages may also summarize any deductions you've had applied to your premiums, such as a deduction for a mortgage-free home.
Additionally, if you're reading your auto insurance policy, the declaration page will include the names and details of the differing types of insurance covering your car (such as liability, collision, comprehensive, or gap) as well as your vehicle's:
- Year, make and model
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Excluded drivers, if any
- Notes regarding your driving and accident history
What is a loss payee
A loss payee, or lienholder, is a person or organization with a financial stake in your property. For example, if you are financing your vehicle, the loss payee would be the lender to which you're making car payments. Or, if you are paying off a mortgage, the loss payee would be the bank that provided the mortgage. If your property is damaged, your insurance company would write a check directly to the loss payee up to the amount you still owe them before you would get any money. If you fail to make your required payments, a lienholder has the legal right to take possession of your property.
How Do I Find and Use My Insurance Declaration Page?
As soon as you take out an insurance policy, your insurance should email you a binder of insurance, which serves as a temporary copy of your declaration page. Review the declaration page found in the binder to confirm your coverage information and use it as temporary proof of insurance if you need to register your car or if you get into an accident. In addition, they'll mail you a paper copy of your policy within a few business days. The declaration page is typically near the front of your insurance packet and will include all of the information above.
The first thing you should do after you receive your new home or auto insurance policy is to verify that the information on the declaration page is correct. Common errors include misspellings of the name or address of the insured, but check for more significant errors as well. You don't want to find out, after filing a claim, that you don't have the coverage you thought you'd signed up for, or that you have a higher deductible than you expected.
If you experience a life change that would affect your insurance policy, be sure to notify your insurance provider. They will then send an updated declaration page. For example, if you pay off your mortgage, this milestone might reduce your homeowners insurance premiums, so you should notify your insurance provider and make sure no mortgage is listed on your new declaration page. Likewise, if you've finished paying off your car, you should notify your auto insurance provider. Make sure you receive an updated declaration page that doesn't list any lienholder (as well as a lien-free title from the lender). That way, if you damage your vehicle, your insurance company will write you a check and not the lender.
As when you experience a life change, changes you make to your policy should also initiate a new declaration page. For example, if your premiums increase due to a claim, or if you add a child to your insurance policy, you should expect a new policy and declaration page to be mailed to you.
What Isn't Listed on My Declaration Page?
Despite being a fairly comprehensive summary of your insurance policy, your declaration page might not state certain optional policies you've added. Things like coverage for rental reimbursement on your auto insurance policy or identity theft insurance on your homeowners or renters insurance policy may or may not be included on the declaration page. If you don't see a specific type of peril (such as flooding) listed on your declaration page, don't assume you're covered. Contact your insurance agent to confirm exactly the types of scenarios you're protected from.