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What is a Car Insurance Declaration Page?

The declaration page tells you everything you need to know about an insurance policy.

Man searching through documents

The declaration page is the first thing you see when you take out an insurance policy. The policy declaration page summarizes the key points of your coverage.

It’s the first page of the thick document you get when your policy is issued. This page covers everything you need to know about insurance declarations, including:

What’s on a Declaration Page?

If you’re wondering “what does an insurance declaration page look like?” The answer is it looks like a brief overview of a policy. That means it includes information like:

  • Who and what the policy covers
  • The policy’s effective date and expiration date
  • The policy’s premium and deductible amounts
  • The types of coverage the policy provides
  • The limits tied to those coverage types
  • Information about coverage you added to your policy through an endorsement or amendment

A declaration page also should include:

  • Your policy number
  • The insurance company’s name, address, and contact information
  • The names and addresses of any “additional named insureds,” including lienholders or loss payees
  • Information about where and how to file a claim

What information is included on your declaration page and how it is organized depends on the insurance company.

It also depends on the type of policy. For example, car insurance declaration pages include information that homeowners insurance declaration pages don’t, and vice versa.

What’s Not on a Declaration Page?

The point of a declaration page is to give you a summary of your insurance policy. Given that, it won’t provide many details of your coverage. It also won’t explain or define the different components of your policy.

For that kind of information, you need to skip past the declaration page and dig into the rest of document.

Depending on the kind of insurance you have, your policy’s declaration page may not include some of the information mentioned earlier, too. It may not cover endorsements or other add-ons, for instance.

Home Insurance Declaration Page vs Car Insurance Declaration Page

Declaration pages for home and auto insurance policies usually are different in a few small but important ways. Here is some of the information you’ll find on an auto insurance declaration page but not on a home insurance declaration page:

  • Your vehicle’s VIN
  • The year, make, and model of your vehicle
  • The current mileage of your vehicle
  • Information on the types of coverage you’ve purchased
  • Information on your driving history
  • The names of any excluded drivers

And here is some of the information you’ll find on a home or renters insurance declaration page but not on a car insurance declaration page:

  • The type of residence that’s being insured
  • The year the residence was built, the materials used to build it, the type of roof, and when the roof was last replaced
  • Information on the types of coverage you’ve purchased
  • The limits tied to those coverage types

Your homeowners declaration page also may highlight any deductions or discounts the insurance company has applied to your premium.

Why Does the Insurance Declaration Page Matter?

The insurance declaration page serves as an easy-to-understand overview of a policy. This is important both when a policy is first issued as well as later – like when you go to file a claim.

Another reason why declaration pages matter is they can help you prove you’ve got insurance in certain situations. That’s especially true when it comes to car insurance, such as when you’re buying a vehicle or shopping for a new policy, but there are times when you need to show you have home insurance, too.

Should I Keep My Insurance Declaration Page?

Yes, you should. You might think you only need the declaration page when your policy’s first issued, to verify everything is correct. But it can come in handy down the road, too.

Keep your policy’s declaration page so you can:

  • Use it to prove you have insurance coverage
  • Refer to it when you go to compare quotes with other insurers
  • Review it before you file a claim

What Do I Do with My Insurance Declaration Page?

Here’s what you should do after you receive your declaration page:

  • Read through it and make sure all the information included on it is correct.
  • If you don’t understand something you see on your declaration page, contact the insurance company.
  • Also contact the insurer if something is missing or if you spot any mistakes or errors.
  • Keep your policy’s declaration page in a safe place so you can use it or review to it whenever the need arises.

Are Declaration Pages Different Between Companies?

Yes, just like declaration pages can differ from one type of policy to another, they can differ from one insurance company to another, too.

In other words, an Allstate declaration page may be different from a GEICO declaration page. And both may be different from a State Farm declaration page.

That said, you should find the most basic and important information about your policy on its declaration page no matter which company sold it to you.

If you receive a declaration page and it doesn’t include one or more pieces of information you expected to find on it, scan the rest of the document. And if that doesn’t help, contact your agent or broker.

What if I Find Errors on My Declarations Page?

Contact your agent or someone else at your insurance company if you find errors on your declarations page.

Keep in mind, not all errors are significant. You may just notice your name is misspelled or your address is wrong.

You want to tell your insurer about those, of course, but you especially want to tell them about errors relating to your premium, deductible, or coverage types.

How Are Insurance Declaration Pages Different from Insurance Binders?

You’ll receive an insurance binder, or binder of insurance, shortly after you buy a policy. It provides a summary of the information that’ll appear on the final contract you’ll receive a bit later.

Look over the insurance binder as soon as you get it to confirm the details of your coverage. Also, keep it on hand so you can use it as temporary proof of insurance until your declaration page arrives.

Assuming everything is correct, the information on your binder of insurance and insurance policy declaration page should be the same.

What Is a Loss Payee? What Is a Lienholder? Why Are They Part of an Insurance Declaration Page?

Lienholders and loss payees are people or organizations that have a financial interest or stake in the property you want to insure.

Usually loss payees and lienholders are lenders. Sometimes they’re lessors, though--such as if you lease a car.

Regardless, your policy’s declaration page will mention any lienholders or loss payees associated with the property you're insuring.

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