When people purchase auto insurance or any other kind of insurance, they rarely take the time to truly understand the components of the insurance policy. Many of you may not even be aware of the declarations page, also referred to as the DEC page, at least not until you have been in an accident and are asked about it.
So we at Washington Oregon Lawyers are here to help you understand what it is and why it is important.
What is a Declarations Page to Your Insurance Policy?
As you know, your insurance policy is basically a contract made between you and the insurance company.
The policy describes what you get in exchange for the premium you pay. The contract consists of two parts: (1) the insurance policy that provides the definitions, coverage timeframe, terms and conditions, and exceptions and endorsements of the policy; and (2) the declarations page.
The declarations page provides all the basic details of the agreement, including:
- policy number
- name, address, and other identifying information of policyholder(s)
- name of the insurer
- named insureds on the policy
- policy period
- purchased coverage
- purchased liability and deductibles limits
- description of the insured vehicle(s)
- the premium.
Basically, the declarations page is a precise yet concise summary of your insurance policy. It provides a one-page view (sometimes a few pages) of your insurance policy, which can be multiple pages.
Why is the Declarations Page so Important?
The declaration is probably the most important part of your insurance policy. The reasons for its importance are manifold and include the following:
- It provides instruction on exactly how your money is being used.
- It provides an outline of your coverage that determines how a claim will be handled.
- It is basically a comprehensive reference tool you can use when you need to know or inform others of your policy and policy limits.
- If you change your coverage in any way -- like by adding a car -- a new declaration page is sent to you confirming and outlining the new policy.
- If you are in a car accident or another type of accident that leads to personal bodily injury or property damage, it allows you and anyone else in the accident to know exactly what kind of coverage you have so that you know what you are working within the event you or another person files a claim.
The declarations page is simply an easy-go-to page that allows you to identify all the important information relatively quickly without having to decipher what's what in pages full of legalese.
Go Look at Your Declarations Page Today
If you haven't already, maybe take a look at your declarations page of your insurance policy today. Know what you have and -- sometimes more importantly -- what you don't have. This way, if an accident occurs either by your fault or the fault of another person or entity, you aren't surprised by what kind of coverage you have (or don't have). And that can make all the difference.