Understand the concept of declaration, which is a section of an insurance policy that lists the specific details of the policy such as the policyholder's name and the property being insured
What is Declarations in Insurance?
The declaration page is usually the first page in an insurance policy for property, casualty, and homeowners’ insurance.
It contains the basic information that outlines the policy, such as the named insured, the amount of coverage, the policy terms, and more information about the insurance you will receive.
A declaration page will also detail the description, name, and location of the items or items that are covered under your policy.
Hot Tip: Commonly referred to as a DEC Page, it’s your first port of call if you want to refresh yourself on the essential information relating to your insurance coverage.
Declaration pages are essential as they simply summarize the valuable points written in your policy. It states what is insured under the policy, how much it costs to receive such cover, and exactly how your coverage works.
What is a Declaration Page?
Declarations pages are a basic element of all insurance contracts. They provide the insured with precise dates of the beginning and end of a policy, as well as premiums and endorsements.
Key Insights: Your total premium charge will be calculated based on the information found within the declaration.
As well as the dates of your policy, a declaration will also include instructions on how to cancel your policy and how to modify your coverage. Your deductibles, policy assignment, and policy limits will also be found on this page.
Whether your policy is under the personal lines insurance umbrella or the commercial lines insurance, within the policy a declarations page will be found near the beginning. In both- it will outline the basic but important information regarding the policy.
Extra Information: Personal lines insurance is more suited to cover losses towards health, disability, life, automobile, and homeowners’ insurance. Commercial lines insurance is suited for businesses and can help protect against losses, such as builder’s risk insurance.
Brief Snapshot of Each Page under Declarations
Every insurance policy, whether it be a car, renters, or Landlord Insurance, will have a separate declarations page on the opening page of your policy. Below is a brief snapshot of what information you’ll find on each page:
The name and address of at least one insured individual will be at the very top of the page. While there can be multiple named insured, the first person named is known as the primary named insured(link)- these are commonly referred to as the policyholders.
General Policy Details:
You should notice a policy number, policy length or period, and billing account number in a corner on your page. Your policy period will detail how long your policy is effective for and when your policy is due to expire. Your policy number and billing account number are used to identify your cover, which allows you to pay for your policy.
After the main information that details what’s included in your policy, any discounts that have been applied to your policy will be noted next.
Next, you’ll usually find more information on the property that is being insured. For instance, under your home or renter’s policy, it will detail the property’s address and the type of residence. Or, if it was an automobile policy, the declaration page will include information on the vehicle such as the make of the car, the model, what year it was made, and a number to identify your vehicle, i.e., license plate.
Cover and Limits:
You should roughly be in the middle of your page now, and most of the information there will break down your cover, limits, and your deductibles. Your premiums or costs linked with each level of cover will also be found in these sections.
Remember: Your finalized and total premium amount will usually be written underneath your policy number, the policy period, and the billing account number.
Endorsements and Policy Forms:
Some extra details about your policy and any additional endorsements you have applied for will have separate forms explaining the specifics of your cover. The form numbers could be on your declarations page for ease of access for you and your agent.
At the end of your declarations page, you will find your agent’s contact details- any questions you have about your policy- you can give them a call.
What’s Not Included on a Declaration Page?
Your declaration page allows you to quickly skim and scan the document to see exactly what your policy entails but bear in mind that it only touches the surface and is not as extensive as your policy documents.
Don’t Forget: Your declaration page is only brief. Viewing your actual policy breakdown will provide more information and touch on points that your dec page misses.
Within your policy breakdown, you’ll be able to see any specific exclusions to your policy for each category- endorsements, the entire policy application, and the insurance policy contract.
As with any official documents, when you receive them, you should read through each page thoroughly, so you are 100% sure about what cover you will be receiving.
Top Tips When Analyzing Your Declaration Page
Reading thoroughly through your policies information, as well as your declaration page, will help to quickly spot and prevent any mistakes from slipping through the net. Of course, you’ll want to make sure the money you are paying covers what you want protection for.
Here are a few of our expert tips that you should follow to secure your policy and ensure everything is in order:
- Look out for mistakes such as incorrect addresses, incorrect spelling of names, or incorrect policy limits. These need to be corrected or updated. Otherwise, it can create issues if you need to file a claim or pay your premiums.
- Keep away your insurance policies and declaration pages in a safe place, and you’ll need to pull these documents out if you need to file claims or submit proof of insurance.
- Look at your premium breakdown to find the total amount owed, including fees and taxes. Preparation is key, especially with finances, so if you can set aside your premium payment, it’s one less thing to worry about.
- Finally, always ask for an electronic copy. Paper can be susceptible to damage, so having the document in full on your computer is good for a backup.
A declaration page is included to briefly summarize your policy, and it should consist of details that a policyholder and agent agreed to when forming a new policy.
Make sure to thoroughly check over your policy, carefully checking spellings, addresses, and policy limits are written correctly, as this will help to avoid any issues if you happen to file a claim.
Note: Don’t be afraid to contact your provider if something is missing from your contract that you paid for or if names are misspelled.
Keep your declarations page in a safe place, and always request an electronic copy from your provider- having a backup is always your best bet.
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