Your declarations page is a document that lists key information about your home insurance, such as policy limits and deductibles. It’s usually the first page or two of your policy.
You may have heard your insurance agent refer to the dec or dec page of your homeowners insurance policy. That’s simply shorthand for declarations page, a document that lists details of your policy, including:
Your declarations page can be very handy in a couple of ways. For one, insurance policies are long and full of legalese. Your dec page puts all of the most useful information front and center. You don't have to dig through a thick contract just to find your limit for medical payments or other structures when it’s time to make a claim.
This doesn’t mean you can skip reading your policy in its entirety. You still want to know the details of what’s covered and what’s excluded. However, the declarations page can be a big help when you need information fast.
Your declarations page is also useful for your mortgage lender. Many mortgage companies want a copy of the dec page every year to make sure your home is adequately insured. Failure to keep your insurance may give your lender the right to place insurance on your behalf. A lender-placed policy is usually more expensive than home insurance you buy on your own. Plus, the lender may add the premium to your mortgage payments.
You should review your declarations page when you first receive it and again whenever you change your home insurance. Here are a few things to check for:
Mistakes on the declarations pages don’t necessarily mean you have the wrong coverage, but it’s better to correct them before they become a problem.
There are a number of important details that you may not find on the dec page, including:
Additionally, some homeowners confuse the declarations page with two other important documents:
As always, if you have questions about your policy or your coverage, talk to your insurance agent.