When you sign up for an auto insurance policy, an insurance declaration page will be included in your paperwork. But what is an insurance declaration page? It’s typically the first page of your policy and highlights important points about your coverage. It’s sometimes referred to as “dec” and can come in handy when you need to refer to your policy. Read on to learn how to read a declaration page and what it includes and what it doesn’t.
How to read your insurance declaration page
Your insurance declaration page includes important information about your auto insurance policy. To read your declaration page, here is the typically included information.
1. Drivers covered by the auto insurance policy
Your declarations page lists the driver(s) covered by the policy. That should include you and anyone else who drives your car.
2. The car insurance policy period
When you sign up for a car insurance policy, there are effective dates that outline the term of your coverage. Typically, this is six months to one year. You can see when your auto coverage starts and ends on the declarations page, so you know when you need to renew your policy.
3. Your car insurance premium
When you sign up for an auto insurance policy, you typically need to pay a monthly car insurance premium or pay it every six months. In this part of the declarations page, you’ll see what is included in the premium as well as the overall total.
4. The vehicles covered by your car insurance policy
Your insurance declarations page also lists out the vehicles covered under your auto insurance policy. In this section, you’ll see the VIN, make, model as well as year for the vehicle that is covered.
5. The type of auto coverage you have
You typically need a minimum amount of auto coverage in each state. On the declarations page, the type of auto coverage you have will be outlined. Make sure you have the right car insurance coverage for your particular needs and budget. For example, Metromile offers the following types of auto insurance coverage, as well as any other state-mandated optional coverage(s):
- Comprehensive coverage
- Liability coverage
- Collision coverage
- Uninsured and underinsured coverage
- Personal injury protection
- Medical payments insurance
- Roadside assistance insurance
- Rental car insurance
6. Any loss payees
If you’ve taken on car financing and secured an auto loan for your car, the lender is typically listed as the loss payee on the declarations page. In this section, the loss payee is outlined, such as a bank — and includes relevant information such as address and contact info.
7. Your car insurance deductible
Also included on your insurance declaration page is your car insurance deductible. Your deductible refers to how much you pay out of pocket when you file a claim before your insurance kicks in. Your deductible amount can vary based on your coverage.
8. Your coverage limits
Your auto insurance coverage limits are also broken down on your declarations page, so you know the maximum amount that is part of your policy. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you might see the maximum amount your insurer will cover in case of bodily injury or car damage.
9. Any discounts you qualify for
Your car insurance provider may offer some discounts for things like security and safety features (such as anti-theft devices) or for being a “good driver.” Any discounts you’ll qualify for will also be listed on the declaration page.
What your insurance declaration page doesn’t cover
Your insurance declaration page is designed to be easy to read and accessible so you can see the most important parts of your coverage. This page can include what’s part of your policy but may not outline what’s not covered and may not provide further definitions of the terms listed. If you have questions, you can contact your insurance provider directly or look at the rest of your insurance paperwork.
When to use your insurance declaration page
Your insurance declaration page can come in handy in a number of cases. For example, if you want to review the details of your policy, you can do so easily on the declaration page. If you’re on the lookout for a new vehicle, you typically need to show proof of insurance. In that case, your insurance provider may send the dealer your declarations page as a way to confirm that you’re insured and actively covered.
The bottom line
Your insurance declaration page is a nifty outline of your auto insurance coverage that can come in handy in a variety of situations. It’s also useful to reference if you’re searching for new auto coverage. It outlines all the essential terms and rates, so you can make an informed decision when looking at new quotes. If you’re a low-mileage driver, pay-per-mile car insurance is likely your best bet.
You pay for gas by the gallon, why not pay for auto coverage based on the miles you actually drive? Using Metromile, you get a low base rate and only pay several cents per mile. Get your free quote for comparison shopping today.
Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.