What is an auto insurance declarations page?
Auto insurance can be confusing, and with so many industry terms, it can feel like whole different language. When you purchase a policy, you receive page after page of policy informatiion. The declarations page, or “dec page” has all of your auto policy information summarized and in one place.
What is an auto insurance declarations page?
Simply put, your declarations page is a summary that tells you everything about your policy, from who is listed as an insured driver, to which coverages you have purchased. The declarations page is typically located in the front of your policy documents, and most insurers will send your declarations page via email, fax, or regular mail. Many carriers will also allow you to access your declarations page online.
What information is shown on an auto insurance declarations page?
Your auto insurance declarations page is a concise summary of your essential policy information. This includes:
- The named insured (main policyholder) and any additional insureds
- Any excluded drivers
- Your policy number
- Policy effective dates and length of policy term
- Year, make, model, and VIN of all vehicles covered on your policy
- Policy limits and deductibles
Your declarations page is essentially an inventory of your personal auto policy. Here is what to look for when reading it:
Your policy period is the length and effective dates of your policy. Your declarations page will clearly spell out your effective date (when your policy begins) and your expiration date (when your policy ends). Your policy “period” or “term” refers to how long your policy is in effect before you need to renew. Car insurance policy terms are usually either six months or 12 months, with six being the most common.
Your declarations page will likely include the address of the named insured, as well as the names of any additional divers listed on the policy. It may also include the age, gender, and marital status of all covered parties.
Insured vehicle information
All vehicles covered by your policy will be listed on your declaration page. Each vehicle will be identified by their year, make, model, and VIN.
A loss payee is an individual or institution that has an insurable (or vested) interest in your property. In the case of a new car purchase, the loss payee is the lender or lessor, depending on whether you’re buying or leasing the vehicle. Your car insurance declarations page will include the name, address and contact information of any loss payees. For example, if you financed your vehicle through your financial institution, you’ll see them listed as the lienholder on your declarations page
Coverages purchased for each vehicle
Not all vehicles on an auto policy have the same coverage. For example, older vehicles without lienholders may only have liability coverage, with the newer vehicles on the policy having full-coverage. This is where you will find which vehicles carry what coverages.
Most coverages include a specific limit that you select when purchasing car insurance. You’ll find each coverage limit for your policy listed on the declarations page. These may include per-person and per-accident limits for bodily injury liability and limits on any additional coverage types, such as uninsured motorist or personal injury protection.
You will find the deductible amount you have purchased for each vehicle carrying comprehensive or collision coverage will be shown on the declarations page.
Cost of coverage
Auto insurance premiums are the sum of the individual costs of each purchased coverge. Your declarations page will break this down to show you how much you’re paying for every coverage type, driver, and vehicle.
On your auto insurance declarations page, you’ll see all the discounts applied to your premium for the current policy term. Most insurers offer discounts for everything from having anti-theft devices on your vehicle to being a good student to insuring more than one vehicle on your policy. Read through your discounts to make sure you’re getting the best rate you can from your insurance company.
What information is not shown on my declarations page?
Your declarations page is meant to be a summarization of your auto policy, but not an exhaustive explanation. You probably wont find policy exclusions or definitions. For that information, you will need to read further into your policy documents, or contact your carrier.
How do I update my declarations page?
When you renew your car insurance policy, you will be issued a new declarations page wthat will be updated to reflect any changes you’ve made: new premium and policy period, new discounts, new coverage, and any new insured drivers or vehicles.
If you make any changes to your policy during the policy term, removing or adding vehicles or drivers for example, you will receive an updated declarations page once the change takes effect.
It is a good idea to review your declarations page each time you receive one, to confirm the drivers and vehicles are correct. In the event of an accident, if a driver or vehicle is incorrect or not listed on the policy, there is a chance that the claim could be denied.
When will I need my declarations page
Many dealerships will require proof of insurance coverage before letting you drive a newly purchased vehicle off of the lot. A declarations page also comes in handy when comparing car insurance rates. It contains most of the information needed to provide an accurate quote, though you may need to provide additional details.
It’s worth noting that if you’re pulled over, you shouldn’t use your declarations page as proof of coverage. It’s always a good idea to carry a physical insurance identification card in your vehicle to show to law enforcement if needed.
Your declarations page is a pretty handy document to have. You definitely want to review each one you receive to be sure that you are insuring the right drivers and the right vehicles. The declarations page has the most important policy information all in one place, and explains how much you are getting for what you pay.
If you’re shopping around, try Elephant’s coverage wizard. Or if you’re ready to purchase a policy, get a quote today and know that you and your vehicle are protected!