When you purchase renters insurance, you are paying to protect your belongings and cover your personal liability. The coverage provided by your renters insurance policy is outlined in your declarations page, which is usually found on the first page of your policy.
Your declarations page, also called a dec page, is like your policy’s invoice containing all the details of the coverage you’re paying for. It explains the limits of each type of coverage and what that coverage protects Basically, it’s a concise overview of your policy.
Your dec page is important because it’s a source of reference for your policy coverage. You might need it to determine covered perils or to reference how much personal liability coverage you have when filing a claim. It can also serve as proof of insurance if your landlord has required you to purchase renters insurance
How to get your renters insurance declarations page
Your declarations page is usually attached to the front of your renters insurance policy. You may already have a digital or physical copy of your renters insurance policy on hand.
If you don’t have a declarations page attached to your policy or if you don’t have a copy of your policy, you should contact your insurance provider to request one. Some providers make it easy to access your policy and declarations page online through their website or app. If you make a change to your coverage limits then you will be sent a new declarations page.
When will you need your declarations page?
You might need a copy of your declarations page for various reasons. Many landlords require that their tenants purchase renters insurance. If this is the case for you, you will most likely need to show proof of insurance. You can use your declarations page to prove that you purchased a renters insurance coverage up to the requirements outlined in your lease.
Your dec page can also come in handy if you need to file a claim. You can reference your dec page to see what is covered in your policy and what isn’t–this goes for personal liability claims as well.
What details does a renters insurance declarations page include?
Your policy number and policy dates
Your insurance policy reference number will be listed at the top of your declarations page. You will need this number if you file a claim. You might also need it on hand if you want to contact a representative from your insurance provider or when showing proof of insurance to a landlord.
The duration of your policy period will also be listed on the declarations page. It will show the date the policy is effective to the date it expires. These dates will be written as day, month, year. Some insurance companies even mark it down to the minute the policy becomes effective.
All relevant parties
The renters insurance declarations page will describe and name all parties included in or relevant to the policy. These include:
The named insured: This would be you, the policyholder. Usually your dec page will include your name, age, date of birth, and address.
The names of any additional insured: The name of anyone you include in your policy. In most cases, this would be a roommate. If they’re listed as additional insured, that means your coverage extends to them too.
The names of additional interested parties: Many times landlords will ask to be added as additional interested parties. This does not add them to the policy or cover them, but as additional interested parties they will be notified of any changes made to the policy or if your coverage lapses.
Agent name: The representative from your renters insurance company who manages your policy. Their company address and phone number may also be listed.
The carrier: Your renters insurance company. The declarations page will usually include their address and phone number.
Information about the rental and building
Your declarations page will contain an overview of information about your rental unit. Things like:
Address and unit number
Building type (apartment, condo, house)
Building history (year built, number of units in building)
Additional building details (heat source, roof type)
Your premium the amount you have to pay during your policy period to keep your renters insurance active. Your premium is determined by a number of factors, like the cost of your belongings, your rental building, and your credit score.
The most important factor to your premium price is the amount of coverage you need: More coverage means a higher premium. This includes the amount of personal liability coverage you have. Personal liability coverage is part of renters insurance and protects you in case someone gets hurt in your rental or if you cause any covered damages.
You can pay your premium all at once, or in smaller increments. Renters insurance is usually an affordable type of insurance coverage, and costs an average of $16 a month.
Coverage components, limits and deductibles
The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket when filing a renters insurance claim. For example, if there is a blizzard and your rental unit’s roof caves in and destroys your furniture and belongings, you will need to pay your deductible before the insurance company will reimburse you for your loss. Not all types of coverage require you to pay a deductible, but personal property coverage, which is the part of renters insurance that covers your belongings, usually does.
Your insurance limit is the maximum amount of money your insurance provider will pay for a covered claim. The higher your coverage limit is, the higher your premium will likely be. Your coverage components will also be outlined on your dec page, meaning you will be able to see the different types of coverage you have as part of your renters policy.
Additional coverage and riders
Renters insurance doesn’t always cover all of your personal property. Your limits may not be high enough to cover you if you want to insure your expensive items, like a rare art collection or diamond engagement ring. If that’s the case, you will need to pay for additional coverage or riders. If you live in an area where there is severe weather, you can get additional riders to cover things like earthquakes or floods. Any additional coverage you have will also be listed on your declarations page.
You may be able to get discounts from your renters insurance company if you have some safety features in your home. Any applied discounts will also be listed in your declarations page. Most insurance companies will give you a discount for having things like:
What does renters insurance cover?
Basic renters insurance includes personal property protection and personal liability coverage. Personal property protection will reimburse you for the loss of personal property (up to your policy’s coverage limits) if your property gets damaged or ruined as a result of the following perils:
Fire and lightning
Windstorm and hail
Damage by aircraft
Damage by vehicle (not your own)
Leakage or overflow of water or steam
Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning
Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances
Damage from steam-heating or water-heating appliances/systems
Weight of snow/sleet/ice
Renters insurance policies will cover a certain amount of personal liability. This will protect you in situations where you’re responsible for someone’s injury or damage to their personal property, like if someone gets hurt by your dog, or if you cause damage to your landlord’s property, and sometimes even if you cause damage to someone else’s personal property.
How to renew your renters insurance
Typical renters insurance policies last six months to one year. When you renew your renters insurance policy you will get a new declarations sheet. This also happens if you move and need to change your information.
Your premium prices might change at renewal, too. Your premium price can change for various reasons, like if you add on riders or decrease coverage. You might want to increase coverage if the value of your belongings increases over time, or if you’ve gotten newer and more expensive stuff. If your premiums have gone up significantly, it may be worth shopping around to see if you can find a policy that offers you the same amount of coverage for a lower price.