If you drive a car, you already know that you need an auto insurance policy. If you’ve ever taken a look at the document, you’ve no doubt seen that it’s long and filled with all kinds of legal jargon. It can be a nightmare to muddle through.
So, what happens when you have a question about your policy or want to find out exactly what coverages you have? Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to spend hours pouring over the document and making sense of potentially confusing language to find the information you need. You can locate pretty much everything you’ll need on your policy’s declarations page.
At its very core, your declarations page is a summary of everything in your car insurance policy. Your auto insurance company condenses the essential components of your policy, fitting these critical details on one to two pages.
Also called the “dec page,” the declarations page doesn’t have every minute detail, but you’ll generally find most of the information you’ll need here. If you want more in-depth particulars, then you may have to go through your actual policy. The separate sections will contain the specifics you need.
For being only one to two pages, your declarations page contains a lot of information. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect to find on your document:
Some of the first information you’ll see is some basic policy information. One of the first details you’ll see is your policy number. You’ll need that number if you need to contact your insurance company to file a claim. If you’ve been with the same insurance company for a while, the page may also include your previous policy number, as it changes each time you renew your policy.
Other information you’ll find at the top of your declarations page includes:
Policy term information.
The page will show your policy’s effective start and end dates.
Name(s) of the insured.
If you’re the only one on your policy, you’ll see your name here, as well as your age and your address. If you have any other drivers listed on your policy, such as a spouse or child(ren), you’ll see their information, too.
If you have someone in your household that you want to exclude from your policy, your insurance company will list them as an excluded driver.
Insurance company information.
Your declarations page will have the name, address, and phone number of your insurance company. If applicable, it’ll also show the name of your agent.
Did you take out a loan to pay for your car? If so, your declarations page will show your lender’s name and address.
Your declarations page will show some essential information about each vehicle covered under your policy. That information includes your vehicle’s make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN).
Your auto insurance declarations page will list your premium as well as how often you need to pay it. You can typically choose to pay monthly, bi-annually, or annually. Some insurance companies will offer discounts if you pay the entire year upfront.
The document will also state your policy’s deductibles, what you need to pay out of pocket before your insurance company takes over. You’ll find your various deductibles listed next to the auto insurance types. Generally speaking, you get to choose your deductibles. What you select will have a direct impact on your premiums.
The declarations page will show the different types of coverages you chose to purchase for that specific policy. It will also have how much coverage you have for each one, your limits of liability. The page will show these limits per person as well as per accident. These figures represent your insurance company’s liability to you. So, if the cost of an accident exceeds these limits, you’re responsible for the rest out of pocket.
If you have more than one car on your policy, your declarations page will itemize the coverages for each vehicle. That way, you can quickly reference the coverage information for a specific vehicle when you need it. The types of coverages you’ll find include:
Personal injury protection (PIP)
Again, keep in mind that the information you see here is a summary. You won’t see the finer details of your auto insurance policy. Instead, you’ll find any exceptions and other specifics within the policy’s separate sections.
Many insurance companies offer optional coverages along with the essential ones you need (which vary depending upon where you live). If you decide to add any of these coverages (also known as riders or endorsements) when you purchase or renew your policy, you’ll find them on your declarations page. They may include such things as:
Coverage for extra equipment you have on your car that your policy doesn’t typically cover
Auto insurance companies offer various discounts that can help you save money on your premiums. If you have any, you’ll find them on your declarations page. Common discounts include:
Bundling (for instance, if you have your auto insurance and homeowners or renters insurance through the same company)
Paid in full
Typically speaking, you’ll find your declarations page at the very front of your auto insurance policy documents when you receive them. You may also be able to find the information through your insurance company’s online portal or mobile app. That can be incredibly beneficial if you need anything from the page but aren’t home or don’t have immediate access to the physical copy of your policy.
As a summary of your entire policy, your declarations page provides you with the most pertinent information. If you have any questions about your policy, you’ll typically find it within that page (or pages). Should you ever need to file a claim, you may find it helpful to review the details before you call your insurance company. Additionally, having your declarations page on hand can be beneficial if you’re shopping for a new policy. You can use the information to get the most accurate quotes possible.
One thing to note is, even with access to your declarations page, you should still go through your whole auto insurance policy. That way, you can familiarize yourself with the finer details not included in the first page or two of the document. If you have any questions, you can also contact your insurance company for clarification.
When you renew your auto insurance policy, you’ll receive new policy documents. That includes a new declarations page. It will reflect any changes you made, such as increasing coverage or altering your deductibles. Compare your new dec page to your old one to make sure everything is correct.
Your declarations page provides all of the essentials of your auto insurance policy in one convenient location. Whether you need to reference a piece of information quickly, you’re getting ready to file a claim, or you’re shopping for a new policy, this page gives you a quick, easy-to-read summary of everything you need. It can make things easier when you need information such as your policy number or coverage details. While it can provide you with most of the answers you need, you can always contact your insurance company for further assistance.