When you first purchase homeowners insurance, an agent will typically explain your policy in-depth. If you have to file a claim down the line, you might need to read through your policy to see what’s covered. If you’ve never read an insurance policy before, it can be overwhelming.
The most important information about your coverage will be located on the insurance declaration page. In this article, we’ll explain what a declaration page is, where you can find yours, and why it’s important to have on file.
What is a homeowners insurance declaration page?
A homeowners insurance declaration page is typically the first page or pages of your home insurance policy document you receive when you purchase insurance. Depending on your policy, the declaration page can be several pages long. Some insurance companies will refer to it as the DEC page or the policy declaration page.
Your homeowners declaration page contains the most relevant information about your policy. Think of it as your go-to guide for everything related to you home insurance. If your home gets damaged and you need to file a claim, it can be helpful to review your declaration page so you know what’s covered and what’s not.
Here is a list of information that can usually be found on your declaration page of insurance:
- Add-on coverages
- Claim reporting process
- Coverage limits
- Coverages included
- Discounts applied
- Insurance company name and contact details
- Liability coverage limits
- Losses that are not covered
- Named insureds, like banks or mortgage companies
- Policy effective and expiration date
- Policy number
- Policyholder’s name and address
- Type of policy
When you purchase a new insurance policy, review your declaration page and make sure the information is accurate. Don’t wait until you need to file a claim before realizing there is an error, like a wrong deductible or policy type. It will be much harder to get those things corrected when you are in the process of filing a claim.
If you have questions about anything listed on your declarations page, reach out to an agent.
How to get an insurance declaration page
After purchasing an insurance policy, you’ll be given a copy of your entire policy, which includes the declaration page. Depending on your insurance company, this document might have been provided in hard copy form or sent electronically.
If you have a copy of your insurance policy forms on hand, your declaration page will be at the front of the document. It will usually contain a heading that says “Declarations Page” or a similar designation. If you don’t have a copy of your insurance policy, you can easily get one from your insurance provider by calling an agent or contacting the company’s customer service team.
Once you get a new copy, keep one easily accessible in case you have to file another claim. Some agents recommend having a second copy that you keep somewhere outside your home in case important documents get damaged.
If you’re having trouble reading your policy, an insurance agent can walk you through it.
Why is a declaration page important?
Your homeowners insurance declaration page is the most important portion of your insurance policy. It contains valuable information that you need to know as a homeowner. Not only does it contain a detailed list of what’s covered and your coverage limits, but it also has information about your premium and any other fees you’re being charged.
Many people never look at their declaration page because they assume they’ll never have to file a claim. However, home insurance claims are more common than you think. You don’t want to wait until something happens before reviewing your policy documents. Here are some common situations that would require you to read your declaration page:
You need to file a claim
If your home or personal belongings get damaged, or if you think you are liable for someone’s injury or property damage, you need to review your declaration page.
Any time you think you might have grounds to file a claim, check your policy. Your declaration page contains detailed information about what is covered under your policy and what isn’t covered. If you have endorsements, like flood or earthquake insurance, that information will be included as well.
You have a question about your coverage limits
If you have to file a claim and you’ve confirmed that it’s covered under your policy, you’ll need to figure out what the coverage limit is. Your coverage limit is the highest amount of money the insurance company will pay towards a covered loss. This can help you determine if a loss will be covered fully by the insurance company or if you will need to pay a portion of the expenses out-of-pocket.
Finding out what your coverage limits are will save you from surprises after you receive your reimbursement.
You want to lower your premium
At some point, you may decide that your premium is too high, and you want to find ways to save money. On your declaration page, you’ll be able to see how much you pay and if any discounts have been applied.
Review your declaration page to see your coverage limits, deductible and any add-on policies that could be increasing your rate. If you decide to change insurance companies, you might be able to share a copy of your declaration page to negotiate a lower rate.
Frequently asked questions
Is a declaration page proof of insurance?
If you need to show proof of insurance, maybe for a mortgage lender, they will usually accept your declaration page as evidence. However, your insurance company will provide a separate evidence of insurance form with your policy documents, which is typically preferred as proof.
What does an insurance declaration page look like?
Your insurance declaration page is usually the first page of your insurance policy. You can easily identify the page because it will contain information about you, your insurance company, your coverages, your premium and your home address.