What is an Auto or Home Insurance Declaration Page?

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Your insurance policy's declaration page, or "dec" page, is a summary of 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 who are insured or holding liens against the property. The declaration page for an auto insurance policy will also include the VIN, year, make, model and mileage, as well as information about your driving history.

What does an insurance declaration page contain?

An insurance policy's declaration page is an overview of your insurance policy. It outlines personal information about who is insured, as well as coverage details and effective dates.

Although policies vary, the following items are typically included on a declaration page:

  • Your name and address
  • The name of your insurance agent
  • 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 and 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

Your homeowners insurance declaration page may also summarize any deductions that have been applied to your premiums — for example, having a mortgage-free home.

Additionally, if you're reading your auto insurance policy, the declaration page will include the names and details of the types of insurance covering your car — such as liability, collision, comprehensive or gap — as well as:

  • The vehicle’s year, make, model and mileage
  • The 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 whom you're making car payments. Or, if you are paying off a mortgage, the loss payee would be the bank that provides the mortgage.

If you fail to make your required payments, a lienholder has the legal right to take possession of your property. 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.

How do I find and use my insurance declaration page?

As soon as you take out a policy, your insurer should email you an insurance binder, which serves as a temporary copy of your declaration page. Review the declaration page 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.

Immediately after you receive your new homeowners or auto insurance policy, verify that the information on the declaration page is correct. Common errors include misspellings of names and addresses, but check for more significant errors also. When you file a claim, you don't want to find out 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 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.

Similarly, changes you make to your policy should initiate a new declaration page. For example, if your premiums increase due to a claim or 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 optional policies you've added. Things like rental reimbursement coverage 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 peril (such as flooding) listed on your declaration page, don't assume you're covered. Contact your insurance agent to confirm exactly what protections you have.

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