Home insurance policies can be complicated and overwhelming. There are a lot of pages, a lot of words, and a lot of insurance-speak. It would be super helpful if your Atlanta home insurance policy came with a summary that functions like a cheat sheet. Well, good news – that’s actually a thing! It’s called a declaration page, and it’s basically an overview of your home insurance. We’ll explain what this insurance cheat-sheet does.
Where’s the declaration page?
The declaration page (a.k.a. dec page) should be towards the front of the paperweight that is your insurance policy. It’s generally one of the first things you’ll find. And it should be conveniently labeled “Declaration page.”
What is in a declaration page?
Okay, that sounds all fine and good, but what stuff is actually included in this insurance cheat sheet? How do you read it? We’ll explain.
A home insurance declaration page generally includes:
The policy number:
The policy number should be listed on the dec page to make things easier for everyone.
Your name and address:
Well, that makes sense, right? The dec page should have your name and address on it, as it’s your house (and you) being insured. The dec page tells who and what is insured.
The insurance company’s information:
You may have to get in touch with your insurance agent or insurance company at some point, so their name, address, and contact information should be on your dec page.
The coverages you have:
This is the part of the dec page that gives you an overview of what coverages you’ve got for your home. The declaration page might break the coverages down into dwelling, personal property, other structures, loss of use, and liability.
Your limits of coverage:
The declaration page will outline the limits of insurance you have, meaning how much money your insurance will pay out for a covered loss. It’s important to make sure that you have enough insurance to fully cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up, replace your possessions, and cover your liability.
The declaration page should also provide your deductible. The deductible is the amount you agree to pay in the event of a claim. Basically, you pay your deductible and the insurance company covers the rest of the claim. For example, let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible. If a falling tree causes $4,300 of damage to your home, you’d pay $1,000 and the insurance company would pay $3,300.
Your declaration page should also list any endorsements on your policy. (An endorsement is an addition to your policy that can alter or add coverage.) For example, if you have an endorsement for sewer backup coverage, that will likely be listed on the dec page.
The effective/expiration date:
The dec page should also list the effective date and expiration date of the policy – which are two dates you should pay attention to.
The dec page can also list any home insurance discounts that you have for your policy. There are a lot of discounts out there that could help you save money on your policy.
The dec page should also give a breakdown of your premium and how much your home insurance costs. We understand that you might not want to think too much about how much you’re paying for home insurance, but if you’re ever wondering, you can check out your declaration page.
Limits of liability:
Your declaration page should also list your limits of liability insurance.
If you have a mortgagee or a lending company, they should be listed on the declaration page. They have an insurable interest in the house because they’re the ones who have been lending you money for it.
Check over your declaration page.
It’s important to look over your declaration page to make sure that all the information listed there is correct and as it should be. If you happen to notice any typos or mistakes, kindly ask to have them corrected. It’s just for the best to have the mistake fixed so that your policy reflects all the coverage you purchased, the discounts you have, and so on. Make sure your name is spelled right, your deductible is what you asked for, your coverage is correct, and so on.
If anything’s unclear or you need some decoding on your declaration page, don’t hesitate to reach out to your agent. It’s important to make sure all the ducks are in a row.
So, if you have a quick question about the coverage you purchased for your home, the declaration page is a good place to start. As we said, it’s essentially the cheat sheet for your insurance policy. Just don’t forget to make sure all the information on your cheat sheet is correct.
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