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.
An insurance declarations page is a summary of everything in your car insurance policy. Your car 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:
Basic Policy Information
Car Insurance Premium and Deductible amount
One of the first details you’ll see is your policy number. You’ll need that number if you need to contact your insurance agent to file a claim.
If you’ve been with the same insurance company for a while, your previous policy number may also be included, as it changes each time you renew your policy.
Other information you’ll find at the top of your declaration page includes:
Policy term information.
The page will show your policy’s effective date and expiration date.
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 the vehicles 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, and what you need to pay out of pocket before your insurance company takes over. You’ll find your various deductibles listed next to the car insurance types.
Generally speaking, you get to choose your deductibles. What you select will have a direct impact on your premiums. For example, if you choose the maximum amount for a deductible, your premiums will be higher and vice versa.
The auto 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, and 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 what you see here is a summary of the most important information. You won’t see the finer details of your coverage. 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
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 insurance declaration page at the very front of your 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.
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.
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.
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