More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
Your declarations page is a summary of your homeowners insurance policy. Also known as a “dec page”, it lists your coverage, rates, and other need-to-know information.
Updated May 7, 2020
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Homeowners insurance consists of coverage for your home, personal property, additional living expenses if your home is damaged, and legal expenses — the particulars of this coverage are laid out in the full insurance policy. Your homeowners insurance declarations page, or “dec page”, is essentially a summary of the policy. Your dec page lists information like your policy number, coverage types and amounts, your premium, the discounts you qualify for, and contact information for you (the named insured) and your mortgage company (the loss payee).
An insurance declarations page is helpful to reference for general policy inquiries and can be used as proof of insurance to your mortgage company to assure them you have adequate financial protection for your home. Having your declarations page on hand also makes it easier to re-shop your homeowners insurance and compare your policy with the coverage and rates of other companies.
Your homeowners insurance declarations page is a brief one-page summary of your policy
Your dec page includes your policy number, coverage amounts, premium, and deductible
A dec page can be used as proof of insurance. It also makes re-shopping your policy easier
Your declarations page is usually the first page of the full homeowners insurance policy.
After you purchase home insurance and you go through underwriting, your insurer will likely make your dec page and policy available to you. If you don’t have a declarations page, contact your insurance company to see if they can mail you a physical copy or email you a PDF version. You may also be able to access your dec page online through the carrier’s website or app.
At the top of the declarations page, your homeowners insurance policy number will be listed; you may need your policy number whenever you sign in to your account online, contact your company over the phone, or file a claim.
The declaration page will also list the policy period, which spans from the when the policy goes in force, or the effective date, to when the policy expires. The dates will be precise, including the specific day, month, and year.
It will then detail all relevant parties to the policy, which may include:
The named insured - Usually, this will be you, but it could also include unmarried partners or people who aren’t blood relatives but live in your home. In order to be covered under your policy, unmarried partners or people who aren’t blood relatives need to be separately listed. Along with the named insured, your home address will also be listed.
The loss payee - If you have a mortgage on your home, the loss payee on the policy will be your lender. What this means is when you file a claim, your mortgage company will be issued the check for home repairs. The loss payee will also receive a notification of your policy status in the event of coverage changes, late payments, or policy cancellations.
The agent - The representative from your homeowners insurance company who manages your policy. The agent’s company address and phone number may also be listed.
The insurer - Your homeowners insurance company. The policy dec page should also list their address and a number to reach them.
Your dec page may also list the build and utilities information about the insured property, such as:
Home’s construction type
Primary source of heat
Lastly, your declaration page may indicate how you receive payouts for a covered loss when you submit a personal property claim. When setting up your policy, you choose whether you’ll be reimbursed for the actual cash value of an item, meaning its value minus depreciation, or its replacement cost.
The premium is the amount you have to pay during the policy period to keep your homeowners insurance active. Your premium is determined by a number of factors, including your credit; the location, age, and build of your home; proximity to fire stations; your claim history; how much coverage is in your policy; and your deductible amount.
Along with including the total policy premium, your dec page will also itemize your premium to indicate the cost of various types of coverage. You’ll probably notice that the majority of your premium pays for your dwelling coverage, or your home’s rebuild coverage. Your other property coverages — other structures, personal property, loss of use — will likely be listed as “included”, meaning that protection comes with the policy at no added cost. Your liability coverage and any additional coverage in your policy will also be listed with respective itemized premiums.
Your policy deductible is the amount you have to pay out of pocket when filing a homeowners insurance claim before the insurance company covers the remainder of the loss. It will either be listed as a fixed amount, like $1,000, or a percentage, like 2% of your home’s insured value. If your policy has a separate deductible for windstorm or hurricane damage, it will likely be listed as a percentage.
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Your declarations page will list each of the coverages that you’re paying for to protect your home and financial wellbeing. The dec page will also show the coverage limit, or limit of liability, for each component of coverage. Your limit of liability is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay out in any one claim. If you have $300,000 in dwelling coverage, then 300,000 is the maximum the company will pay you for damages to the structure of your home.
Your coverage will likely be broken up into three sections: property, liability, and additional coverage.
Coverage B: Other structures - Covers detached structures on your property like your garage, shed, deck, fence or pool
Coverage D: Loss of use - If your home becomes unlivable because of property damage, this coverage will compensate you for temporary lodging and any additional living expenses you incur
Coverage E: Personal liability - Covers your legal expenses if you or one of your dependents is held liable for bodily injury or property damage to someone else
Coverage F: Medical payments to others - Covers minor injuries to guests if they get injured on your property and require medical treatment. This is a “no liability” coverage, meaning it will cover injured guests regardless of who was at fault
Your insurance declaration page will also list any additional or optional coverage in your home insurance policy. Premiums for the listed coverage add-ons will also be indicated in the itemized section of the page.
Additional coverage that you may add to your policy depending are:
Water backup coverage - Covers water damage due to sump pump or sewage backups
Scheduled property coverage - Higher coverage limits for expensive valuables that have limited coverage
Equipment breakdown coverage - Covers household appliances (like a dishwasher, computer, or air-conditioning unit) if they break down due to electrical or mechanical failure
Service line coverage - Covers repairs or replacement of utility lines if they rupture or break underneath your property
Identity theft protection - If your identity is stolen, this protection reimburses you for the amount you spent reclaiming your identity and repairing your credit
There’s also a discounts portion of the declarations page that lists any discounts applied to your monthly premiums. Some common discounts include:
Protective devices discount - If you have a security system, centralized fire alarm, or storm-proof windows or doors, you may get a protective devices discount
Claim-free discount - Rewards you if you haven’t filed a claim in the last five years
Bundling discount - If you buy your car insurance and homeowners insurance through the same company, you’ll typically get a bundling discount
Loyalty discount - If you’ve been insured with the same company for a certain number of years
When you renew your homeowners insurance policy, you’ll be issued a new declarations page. Some of the information may look different — you’ll likely see an updated premium and policy period, more or fewer discounts, increased or reduced coverage, any additional named insureds, and so on.
Homeowners insurance policy periods are typically six-month to year-long terms. If you’re looking for a better rate, Policygenius can work with you to easily compare quotes from different carriers online. Try and have your declarations page on hand to quickly compare coverage.
Pat Howard is a homeowners insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. He has written extensively about home insurance cost, coverage, and companies since 2018, and his insights have been featured on Investopedia, Lifehacker, MSN, Zola, HerMoney, and Property Casualty 360.
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