The Homeowners Insurance Declaration Page
If you’ve ever been required to present a homeowners insurance declaration page, you’re probably somewhat familiar with this step of the insurance application process.
However, if you’re a first-time home insurance customer, you might not know what this portion entails.
This presents a sort of policy cheat sheet, something you and your insurer can refer to when in need of certain information. You may look at it when figuring out what day you need to renew your policy, for instance, while your insurer could use it to access to your address in case they need to send you crucial information.
You can find out more about homeowners insurance declaration pages with our quick policy guide. You can answer any of the following questions you may have about this piece of information below:
- What is a homeowners insurance declaration page?
- What makes up a declaration page?
- What information does not appear on the declaration page?
- When will you need to provide this page?
- How can you renew a homeowners insurance declaration page?
What is a Homeowners Insurance Declaration Page?
A homeowners insurance declaration page is essentially a summary of your individual policy. In most occasions, this document is the first page of your homeowners insurance policy. It holds the most important information you and your insurer will want to keep track of to get the most out of your policy. The page serves as a sort of invoice that you and your insurer can refer back to when browsing the basic limitations of your policy.
Not only is it important to keep track of this page for your own records, it provides you with proof of insurance, something you likely need to show your mortgage lender on a regular basis.
Components of the Declaration Page
This documentation isn’t just another piece of paperwork you can add to your ongoing stack of files. It contains a handful of relevant pieces of information regarding your homeowners policy. Even though your insurer will keep a copy of it for their own reference, it is recommended that you keep a version of it for your own records.
Anyone of note in your policy, whether they are coverage recipients or insurance providers, will be listed on this notice. The top of the page is comprised of the major players involved in your home insurance policy. It includes the name of the main person whose name is on the policy. (you or your spouse, for instance), as well as any individuals in your household who are covered by your policy, such as your children. The declarations page names your homeowners insurance agent and your lender. In addition to these names, your declaration page will include the address of the home being insured, as well as the insured individual’s mailing address if it is different.
The next section of your declaration page features information related directly to your policy type, such as your policy number. It also lists any limits you’ve chosen for different types of standard homeowners insurance coverage, such as dwelling, other structures, personal liability, personal property, loss of use, and medical payments protection. The cost of your homeowners insurance will likely appear on this page as well. This immediate access to information makes it easier for your insurer to react to claims quickly.
Other specific information you will see regarding your policy type includes the amount of your deductible, the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket when you make a claim after a covered incident. Your policy length will likely be listed on your declaration page, as well as the best date to renew your policy if you plan on doing so. Finally, the declaration page lists any discounts that are being removed from your homeowners insurance premium costs. Some common types of discounts you may see on your homeowners insurance declaration page include:
- New construction
- Bundled policies
- Claim-free history
- Protective devices
What Isn’t on a Declaration Page
Just because this document is official and informative doesn’t mean it contains every single component surrounding your homeowners insurance policy. This form does not typically include any add-on policies you purchase, according to Esurance. Popular additional coverages you may decide to purchase as a supplement to your existing policy, but do not appear on the declaration page, include:
- Flood insurance
- Personal property floaters for expensive items, including fine art, jewelry, furs, antiques, and electronics
- Sewer backup protection
- Identity fraud coverage
Because the declaration is unlikely to list each of these extra coverages, it will not include any limitations you have set on any of these additional coverages. If you need to see exactly how much your limitations affect your claim on these items, you will need to search farther into the home insurance policy. Rather than performing as the Holy Grail insurance form, the homeowners insurance declaration page provides a basic summary of your policy.
When You Will Be Required to Provide this Page
Generally, your mortgage lender will require you to send along an updated declarations page about once a year to show that you have the amount of coverage that is deemed necessary for state regulations or mortgage company standards. This proof of insurance protects you from the repercussions that occur when you don’t have adequate paperwork; that is, your mortgage provider will purchase a home insurance policy in your name, including this force-placed insurance in your monthly mortgage payments.
This may not sound like an issue at the surface level, but the reality of this situation is that you will need to pay much more money for a force-placed insurance policy than you would for coverage you purchased on your own, as per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Even if cost isn’t an issue to you, it’s worth noting that the coverage on these forced policies is not nearly as comprehensive as the protection of a standard home insurance policy.
Renewing a Homeowners Insurance Declaration Page
When you renew your home insurance (typically on an annual basis) your insurer will provide you with an updated declarations page. This new sheet will include the new end date of your policy, any changes in costs, new discounts you’ve received in the last year, or updated coverage amounts.
One invaluable tip we have to guide you during the renewal process, allowing you to get the best bang for your buck with your homeowners insurance policy, is to compare your updated declaration page with last year’s copy of the sheet. You should make sure you have not lost any of the discounts you were eligible for in the past and ensure your insurer has not changed any coverage amounts without your permission.
If you’re on the hunt for homeowners insurance, you may consider shopping around for the best deals. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or are seeking out coverage with lower premium costs, we can provide you with the guidance and insight you need to become an informed shopper.