When purchasing a home insurance policy, you’re often faced with at least some legal jargon that can be difficult to completely understand. And while your insurance agent is there to help walk you through every step of the process, it’s also important to understand what you’re paying for on your own as well. That’s where your insurance declaration page, the first page of your insurance policy coverage, can be helpful.
Below, we cover the important things you need to know about your insurance declaration page. Keep reading to learn what is and isn’t included in this policy summary, as well as what to watch out for when you receive policy confirmation.
Your homeowners insurance declaration page, or “dec page,” is a quick breakdown of your policy that your insurer provides when you update or purchase your home insurance policy. It includes important information such as your address, length of coverage, deductibles and any endorsements. This summary helps you determine what coverage you have, as well as what changes from year to year. It’s important to keep your declaration page in a safe place so you can refer to it when you need to file a claim or submit proof of insurance.
Check out an example home insurance declaration page below.
While your declaration page is a summary for easy review, it’s still important to understand what you can expect to see on it and why. Whether you’re refinancing your home or applying for your first mortgage, understanding the ins and outs of your declaration page can serve you well in the long run.
One of the sections of your declaration page is the named insured section, which typically lists the primary owners who reside in the home and are covered under the homeowners insurance policy.
This section includes the “named insured,” i.e. the primary policy holder, as well as the “second insured,” who is typically a spouse or additional owner of the home. “Additional insured,” or those living in the home that still need protection, such as unmarried partners or long-term roommates who aren’t blood relatives, must be added to your insurance policy in order to be covered and show up on the dec page.
It’s a good idea to double-check this section if you have roommates or live with a long-term partner to ensure they’re listed on the policy.
Likely the part you’ll refer to most often, the policy information section includes everything you need to know about your policy, including:
The policy information section will also include what the insurance company knows about your home that has an effect on your rate. This section typically includes property-specific facts about the residence; below is an example of a few elements of what the insurance company knows about the home that will be included on the dec page:
Typically, it includes your lender and their contact information as well, as your insurance company will notify them any time they write a check for a covered damage.
If you’re looking over your declaration page and realize that your insurance company’s name is not on it, there’s no need to panic. While it may seem odd, it’s actually a pretty common occurrence on declaration pages.
Home insurance policies can technically be backed by other insurers than the one you bought your policy from, meaning your insurance company might have taken on additional partners to help manage the risk. You’ll still reach out to the provider you bought coverage from when filing a claim, so nothing really changes on your end.
Your declaration page also includes information on the coverage options and policy limitations you selected when purchasing your policy. All categories of coverage are included here, such as dwelling, personal liability, belongings, other structures, loss of use and medical bills. Your deductible limits, or the amount you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance provider covers the cost, are included, as well as the maximum amount of assistance you can receive.
So for example, say you insured your home for up to $250,000. Not only will this number be included in your declaration page, but the amount of other structures and personal property coverage (often weighted against your total dwelling amount) are listed here as well.
Any discounts you were able to get for this time frame are included in your declaration page or within your full policy documents. Typical discounts include money off for bundling your policies, installing smart home devices, paying your annual premium upfront or even purchasing your policy completely online. Don’t see any discounts on your declaration page? Make sure to ask your insurance agent what deals you qualify for when renewing to get those added in on next year's policy.
When you purchase your home insurance policy, you have the option to add endorsements to your policy. There are various endorsements available, some of which protect your home from disasters not included in your original policy. Other add-ons extend your current coverage, such as extending the policy limits for your personal belongings or dwelling protection.
If you choose to purchase any endorsements, the breakdown (including policy limits) is listed on your declarations page so that you can get a quick snapshot of everything you have covered. If you choose to add in additional endorsements throughout the year, you’ll automatically receive a new declaration page with this information added in.
While your declaration page is a quick way to check out what all your policy entails, it’s not nearly as extensive as your actual policy documents. Your policy breakdown will include a lot of information that your declaration page lacks. This includes specific exclusions for each category of your policy, endorsements, the full policy application and the actual insurance policy contract.
When you receive these documents, it’s important to read them thoroughly to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you requested in your policy. This will help prevent any mistakes from slipping through the cracks and make sure that your money is going towards the protection that you planned for.
When viewing your declarations page, there are a few steps you should take to secure your policy and make sure everything is in order. Below, our insurance team breaks down what else you need to know about this important part of your policy.
Your declaration page serves as a summary of your policy, so don’t be afraid to check with your insurance provider if you aren’t seeing something you paid for. In the process of determining how much homeowners insurance coverage is right for you? Reach out to one of our friendly insurance agents to get what you need.
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