What is an Insurance Declaration Page?
Understanding Your DEC Page—What to Look for and Why It's Important
When you take out an insurance policy, you'll receive a multi-page policy document containing a large volume of information about your coverage, which might seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you can find all of the key points summarized on the policy's first page, which is often titled as the Policy Declarations page.
If you need to understand the exact item being insured, check limits the of your coverage, know your deductible, or find out the policy's expiration date and more, it's all there on this summary page.
What Is an Insurance Declaration Page?
The Insurance Declaration page is a document that forms part of your insurance policy, and it's sometimes referred to as the "DEC page" of your insurance documents.
An insurance declaration page is issued for a new insurance policy and also for each renewal term.
The DEC page may actually span a couple of pages if the details of your coverage require more than one page to list.
An insurance declaration page will normally include the following information:
- The insurance policy number
- Name and address of the policyholder
- Who the Named Insured's on the policy are
- The insurance company name, address and contact information
- Information needed to report a claim
- Identification of the insured property
- What coverages are included
- What type of coverage the policy is for, for example, the policy form, like a Homeowner HO-3 or a Condo form, in the case of vehicles or watercraft the type of policy will be always be mentioned.
- Limits of insurance per coverage, for example Dwelling Values for homes
- Deductibles per coverage
- Endorsements with limits and deductibles
- The policy effective date and expiry date (How Long the Insurance Policy is valid for)
- Discounts and surcharges
- Policy Rating information
- Price of the insurance, also known as the premium
- Additional Named Insureds, such as Mortgagees, Leasing companies, banks for car loans, or any other person who has an insurable interest in the property due to having provided financing on the property.
- Limits of Liability
Why Is the Insurance Declaration Page Important?
The Insurance Declaration page is the most important part of your insurance policy because it shows:
- The main coverages that lead to how a claim will be paid
- What the limits are for each section of the policy
- The premiums charged for the coverage you have purchased
The declaration page is followed by the second most important part of your policy, the policy wording, which defines each of the terms found on the DEC page and how they apply in a claim.
Insurance Binders vs. an Insurance Declaration Page
The insurance declaration page is part of your insurance policy. You will receive it once your insurance policy is issued, after the binder of insurance. Your insurance declaration page should represent the same information that was sent to you on the binder of insurance. The binder of insurance is only a temporary document, meant to outline the coverage that is confirmed when you receive your insurance declaration page and policy wording and can be shown as proof of insurance for a new car purchase, for example.
What Should You Do With an Insurance Declaration Page?
The insurance declaration page contains all the important information regarding your insurance contract, including what is covered, the type of coverage and other details, so review the declaration page in detail to make sure everything is correct such as your name, address, and insurance policy amounts. Also, verify that the policy type is exactly what you asked for.
Checking Your Insurance Coverages and Information on the Declaration Page of Your Policy
Common problems found on insurance declaration pages may include mistakes, like a misspelled name. You might also find a mistake in the type of coverage, for example, if you asked for an Open Perils policy and the insurance company accidentally issued you a Named Perils policy.
You'll be able to find all this information on your DEC page. Another example is for car insurance policies if you asked for a certain deductible, and you receive a policy with the wrong deductible.
If you added coverage by endorsement, this should also appear on the insurance declaration page.
Everything you asked for or agreed to when accepting your new policy should be visible on the declaration page. This represents what you are entitled to, so check it carefully and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Once you are done reviewing your policy, you should keep your insurance declaration page in a safe place, as it is part of your insurance contract.
How to Check Your Insurance Declaration Page
Using the list above, you can review all the sections of your insurance declaration page. Make sure everything is exactly as you expected and if you do not understand a term or something doesn't make sense call your agent or insurance representative to clarify. Your insurance declaration page needs to be read line by line to make sure you don't have a problem in a claim.
Examples of Things to Check on an Insurance Declaration Page:
- Janet needed to find out if she had enough coverage on her homeowners' insurance policy. She was able to easily see the coverage amount on her insurance declaration page, which was the first page of her homeowners' insurance policy.
- Mary read through her insurance declaration page to make sure everything she had asked for was on the policy when it arrived. She noticed that her alarm discount was not on the policy. She called her agent and was happy to find out it was left off by accident. Once it was added, she received a new declaration page that included the discount and a lower price. She was glad that she checked out all the details when she got her new policy.
- Frank got the renewal of his insurance policy. He read the Insurance Declaration Page to see if everything was the same as the year before. Everything looked good, except he realized that the mortgage was still listed and he had paid off his house the year before. He called his insurance representative and was told that as soon as he could send the proof he had paid off his mortgage, they would take the mortgage off the policy. They were glad he called because otherwise, in a claim, the check would have been made out to him and the bank. He was glad because now that he had paid off his mortgage, he was also eligible for a mortgage-free discount.