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Declaration Page for Car Insurance

The lowdown...
  • A declarations page is a document that includes information that is specific to your auto insurance policy
  • You may hear your insurance agent or customer service specialist refer to the declarations page as the “dec page”
  • Your declarations page specifies the insured, covered auto, policy limits, policy period, and other key information
  • You will receive your declarations page between 30 and 60 days after you apply for your car insurance policy
  • You need your declarations page when you’re shopping around for coverage so that you can compare the premiums

You’ll receive several different pieces of mail from your insurer after you apply for insurance. The first document that the average consumer is given when they are shopping around is a quote.

The quote will include the following:

  • some of your basic rating information
  • your name
  • how much you’ll pay for specific coverage limits for a specific amount of time

You don’t receive any official documents that show that coverage has been bound until you submit your car insurance application.

After you’ve settled on a policy and you’ve answered all of the questions included on the application form, you should expect to receive a lot of mailers from your carrier.

Some of the documents are more important than others.

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Some of the documents are more important than others. Here’s what you need to know about the declarations page:

What is an insurance declarations page?

Whenever you buy any type of property and casualty, you’ll receive something that’s titled the declarations page in the mail. The declarations page includes all of the information that’s relevant to your personal car insurance policy.

It details what’s insured, who’s insured, for how much, and also for how long.

What will you find on your declarations page?

All carriers design their own declarations pages. While the document is often called a “dec page”, it could be two or more pages depending on how many cars you have.

No matter how the declarations page is structured, it will always include the same amount of information.

Here’s what you can find when you reference your informational declarations page:

  • Named insured
  • Mailing address and physical address of the insured
  • Policy effective date
  • Policy expiration date
  • Policy number
  • Endorsements and riders
  • Policy rating information
  • Insurance company and contact information
  • Vehicle description, VIN, odometer reading, usage
  • Driver name, date of birth, years licensed
  • Driver vehicle assignments
  • Vehicle usage and annual mileage
  • Coverage options and policy limits on each vehicle
  • Surcharge information for tickets and accidents
  • Lender or loss payee information for financed or leased cars
  • Discounts applied to the policy
  • How long you’ve been insured through the company

What is the difference between a quote and a declarations page?

There is a major difference between a policy quote and a declarations page. The quote is nothing more than an estimate showing how much you would pay for coverage if you were rated a specific way.

The quote isn’t binding and it isn’t guaranteed. The quoted rate can change after your information has been underwritten and verified.

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When do you receive a declarations page?

You’ll have to wait to get your initial declarations page for your first term with your insurer. You aren’t given a declarations page right away because your coverage is only temporarily bound.

The application must be reviewed by an underwriter through the carrier to ensure that what you’ve provided is accurate and honest.

Giving you a temporary binder is an effective way for the carrier to take action and cancel the policy if your rating information dramatically changes.

Temporary binders for auto insurance are typically only good for 30 to 60 days.

After your information has been fully verified, the carrier will officially set your final premium and issue the policy. If the rate hasn’t changed, you’ll get your declarations page in the mail.

Do you get new declarations pages each term?

Your first declarations page will only verify your coverage information for six months to one year, depending on how long the term is. When the policy is set to expire, you will get a new declarations page in the mail that shows your renewal premium and rating information.

If anything about your rating has changed from the prior term, it will show on your renewal declarations page. The most common change is when a surcharge is added to the policy premium for tickets or accidents.

Every time your term renews, you’ll receive a new set of auto insurance ID cards and also a new declarations page.

Do you keep your declarations page in your car?

You must have documents to prove that you’re insured with you at all times. It’s the law. You don’t, however, need to carry your declarations page with you in your glove compartment.

Your insurer will provide you with an auto insurance ID card for each of your covered vehicles which you should keep in your glove box.

What do you do with your declarations page?

Unlike an ID card, which you should be able to furnish at all times, your declarations page is something that should be filed away.

You should always be able to locate the page when you need to reference it, but you can put it away for safe keeping in a filing cabinet or somewhere else that you keep your insurance documents and financial statements.

When might you need to furnish your declarations page?

Having your declarations page handy can really save you the hassle of having to call your insurer when you need to verify detailed information on your insurance contract.

You won’t give police officers or even other parties your declarations page after an accident, but here are some scenarios where you might want to have it handy:

  • If you have a loss and want to verify you have the right coverage under your current policy
  • If you’d like to check to see what deductibles you’re carrying for each vehicle
  • If you’re buying a car and you want to show the dealer you have a current full coverage policy
  • If you want to provide proof of prior coverage to a new insurer for a prior insurance discount
  • If you need to prove you have continuous coverage for your lender
  • If you want to see what types of discounts you’re currently receiving
  • If you want to see what you’re paying for each type of coverage
  • If you want to review your renewal document to look for outdated or inaccurate information

Always Look Over Your Renewal Declarations Page

You experience life changing events on a regular basis. A move, a new job, or welcoming a new baby to your home could change the way that you use your car.

One of the last things you’re thinking of doing after you come home from the hospital is to call your insurer and make changes to your auto insurance.

The best time to review your insurance to see if it is outdated or missing information is when the policy is renewing.

You already are going to receive a renewal declarations page, so accessing the documents is very easy.

Here’s what you should look for on the declarations page when you’re going to make updates:

  • Review your liability limits to see if it’s adequate
  • Check vehicle usage and annual mileage to see if it’s accurate
  • Check your occupation
  • Update the distance of your commute
  • Tell your insurer if you’re a homeowner
  • Look at discounts to see if any of them have expired

The declarations page is the most important policy document that you’ll receive. Always keep it somewhere that it can be easily accessed. If you’re reviewing your current declarations page and you’re not happy with your premiums, start shopping around today.

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