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Your home is one of your most valuable assets. When you purchase home insurance, you protect yourself financially and have peace of mind if the unexpected occurs. Getting the right kind of coverage ensures protection for your family and assets.

Knowing the details of your homeowners insurance policy can help you when emergencies strike and you’re considering filing a claim. When you purchase home insurance, your insurance company provides a homeowners insurance declaration page. This important document acts as proof of coverage and contains essential details about your policy, including effective dates, coverage types, limits, deductibles, and information about your home.

What is a homeowners insurance declaration page?

A homeowners insurance declaration page lists pertinent details of your policy. Also known as a “dec page,” it’s usually the first page or pages of your homeowners insurance policy. A declaration page is a summary of your policy. Your insurance company should provide a new dec page when you first sign up for a policy and each time you renew your policy.[1]

Learn More: What Is a Home Insurance Declarations Page?

What is a homeowners insurance declaration page?

A homeowners insurance declaration page lists pertinent details of your policy. Also known as a “dec page,” it’s usually the first page or pages of your homeowners insurance policy. A declaration page is a summary of your policy. Your insurance company should provide a new dec page when you first sign up for a policy and each time you renew your policy.[1]

Learn More: What Is a Home Insurance Declarations Page?

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What information does a homeowners insurance declaration page contain?

The homeowners insurance declaration page contains most of the essential information about your homeowners policy. This includes your:

  • Insurance policy number: You’ll need your policy number any time you file a claim.

  • Policyholder name and contact information: Your policy lists your full name and address.

  • Named insured: This section lists other people living with you, like family members.

  • Mortgage lender: Declaration pages usually include the name of your mortgage lender.

  • Insurance company information: It will include your insurance agent’s name, address, and phone number.

  • Policy coverages: Declaration pages list coverages included in your policy, such as dwelling coverage, personal property, and other structures. It also lists the type of policy you have, such as an HO-3 or HO-5 policy.

  • Coverage limits: This section lists the overall policy coverage limits and the maximum limits for each coverage type.

  • Deductible: Deductibles are the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in for covered incidents.

  • Coverage costs: This is your total insurance premium for the policy period.

  • Endorsements: This includes any modifications you added to your policy based on your needs.

  • Discounts: If your insurance company has approved any policy discounts, they’re listed in their own section of your declaration page. Discounts can help lower your monthly insurance premiums.

  • Policy period: Your policy’s effective date and expiration date are usually listed toward the top of the declaration page. This outlines when coverage begins and ends. You may also see renewal information listed on the document.

  • Property description: The declaration page also includes information about the insured property, including the address and type of residence, such as a single-family home or condominium.

What’s not on the declaration page?

Declaration pages are meant to be an easy-to-read summary of your homeowners policy. You won’t find every detail about your policy. Reading your declaration policy is helpful, but it’s important to read through your entire policy to understand its protections and limitations.

Information that may not be included on the declaration page includes:

  • Detailed policy information: The declaration page is a snapshot of your policy and won’t include information like special exclusions.

  • Optional policies: The dec page may not include optional coverages you’ve added to your policy.

  • Optional coverages not on your policy: You may reside in an area known for additional coverages, like flood or earthquake insurance. If you haven’t purchased these optional coverages, you won’t find them on the declaration page.

How to read your homeowners insurance declaration page

Declaration pages may vary slightly depending on the insurance company. Here’s a look at how to read your homeowners insurance page using an example page.

1. Insurance company name: The name of the insurance provider

2. Policyholder name: The primary policyholder’s full name

3. Policy number: The policy number assigned by the insurance company

4. Policy period: The period of time your insurance policy provides coverage

5. Property location: The street address of the insured property

6. Coverage: The types of coverage that make up your policy

7. Coverage limits: The maximum amount your insurance company will pay for covered perils per coverage

8. Deductible: The amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay for damages

9. Premium: The amount you pay the insurance company for your policy

10. Endorsements: Any policy changes, including additions, subtractions, or other updates to your coverage

How to get a copy of your homeowners insurance declaration page

You likely received a copy of your declaration page when you first purchased your policy. If you need another copy, you can typically get it by calling your insurance provider or agent. Some insurance companies allow you to access your declaration page through your online account or mobile app. Save a paper or electronic copy (or both) of your declaration page and policy for future reference and safekeeping.

When you might need your declaration page

It’s not necessary to have your declaration page out to file an insurance claim, but it can be helpful, especially if you don’t know your policy number or aren’t familiar with your coverage limits or deductibles.

There are times when you may need your declaration page. This may include:

  • When requested by your mortgage lender: Most lenders require borrowers to send a copy of their policy’s declaration page annually.

  • When you first purchase homeowners insurance: You want to look over your policy’s dec page to ensure the information is correct, it includes all insured people in your household, and it lists all your policy’s coverages. Contact your insurance agent immediately if you find any errors or omissions.

  • When you renew your policy: Even if nothing changes on your policy, it’s still beneficial to scan the declaration page to refresh your memory and look for any errors.

Homeowners insurance declaration page FAQs

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about homeowners insurance declaration pages.

  • Is a declaration page proof of insurance?

    A homeowners insurance policy’s declaration page can act as proof of coverage for the homeowner in certain situations. If a mortgage lender or other party asks you for proof of insurance, your declarations page is generally accepted documentation.

  • Do you need a declaration page to renew or change your policy?

    A declaration page may include details about policy renewal, but it isn’t necessary to have it on hand, especially if your policy automatically renews each policy period.

  • Do you need a declaration page when filing a home insurance claim?

    Having your declaration page on hand isn’t necessary to file a homeowners insurance claim, although you may need information listed on the document, like your policy number. Having your homeowners insurance declaration page handy lets you see coverage limits and deductibles and helps you determine whether you’re eligible to file a claim.

  • How long should you keep a copy of your declaration page?

    You should keep a copy of your declarations page for at least as long as the policy is active. If you have outstanding insurance claims, you should keep a copy of your policy until the claims are resolved. Even if you update or renew your homeowners policy, you should save a copy of your policy in case you need it later on. The IRS recommends keeping important documents for three to seven years, depending on the document type.[2]

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Sources

  1. Iowa Insurance Division. "Consumer Connection: What is an Insurance Declaration Page?." Accessed February 1, 2023
  2. IRS. "Topic No. 305 Recordkeeping." Accessed February 1, 2023
Kevin Payne
Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a freelance writer and family travel and budget enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. His work has been featured in Forbes Advisor, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, SlickDeals, Finance Buzz, The Ascent, Student Loan Planner, and more. Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and four teenagers.