Most of us have heard of a declarations page (or "dec" page) — namely because we've had to provide it as proof of our homeowners insurance at some point. Find out what it is and why it's important.
breaking down your homeowners declarations page
A homeowners insurance dec page is essentially a summary of your policy — it contains all the most pertinent, need-to-know info regarding your home insurance. We'll dissect the "who," "what," "where," and "when" of your home insurance declarations page so you can start getting the most out of your policy.
The declarations page lists the named insured (i.e. you and anyone else in your household insured under the policy), your homeowners insurance agent, and your lender — essentially, all the parties that are involved in some way with your policy.
Your policy number is typically included on your declarations page, as well as the limits you've selected for primary homeowners coverages like dwelling protection, other structures coverage, personal property insurance, loss of use coverage, personal liability protection, and guest medical payments coverage.
You'll also see your deductible, which is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in to pay the rest of the repair bills after a covered loss.
Plus, any homeowners discounts that have been applied to your premium will be listed (in addition to the premium itself).
Your declarations page will list the physical address of the insured property, as well as your mailing address if it's different. You'll also be able to find the addresses of both your homeowners insurance agent and your lender.
The policy term — that is, the dates your policy begins and ends — is listed on your homeowners dec page. It may also suggest the best date to renew your policy by, should you want to do so, since some insurers offer discounts or lower rates if you pay in advance of your renewal.
What's not included on my declarations page?
It's important to note that the list of coverages on your dec page isn't necessarily all-inclusive. Optional add-ons like identity theft coverage and personal day care insurance may not be listed, and don't necessarily count on detailed coverage particulars (like exclusions) either. Your declarations page is essentially meant to serve as an easily readable summary of your policy.
when will you need your homeowners insurance dec page?
Your mortgage company will typically require you to provide an up-to-date declarations page for proof of your homeowners insurance about once a year to ensure you have adequate financial protection for your house.
If you don't provide this proof of insurance, your lender has the right to purchase homeowners insurance in your name and add the premium to your mortgage payments (aka "force-placed insurance"). This kind of policy is generally much more expensive than your standard home policy, and often, the coverage isn't as comprehensive either — another good reason to never let your homeowners insurance lapse.
If you're an Esurance policyholder and have questions about your homeowners insurance declaration pages (or anything else for that matter), feel free to give us a ring at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262). Our agents are available at these times to help and answer any of your homeowners insurance questions.
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