You purchased a new auto insurance policy just a few days ago, and now you’ve received a packet in the mail. “Car Insurance Declarations Page” is written in bold letters across the top. What is this form, and why do you need it? Should you hang on to it or can you run it through the shredder?
Let’s take a look at what your declarations page is, and what you should do with it.
What is a Car Insurance Declarations Page?
When you purchase an auto insurance policy, you usually have the option to go paperless or opt-in to paper mail. Regardless of your choice, you’re likely going to receive a form in the mail called a declarations page.
Truth be told, you’ll probably receive many papers in the mail, all of which are important. Most insurers will send a thick envelope that’s chock full of information about your insurance policy. After all, when you bought your coverage, you initiated a business transaction. It’s good to have everything in writing.
The most important of these forms, the one that you should always carry with you, is your declarations page. A car insurance declarations page offers you (and law enforcement, the DMV, rental agencies, and others) a summary of the coverage you bought for your vehicle.
Why is this form so important? Well, if you’re in an accident you don’t want to spend hours on the phone with the insurance company at the scene. You can quickly exchange insurance information with another driver just by glancing at your declarations page.
Your car insurance declarations page is also helpful if you’re shopping for new insurance. Having your coverages listed out in snapshot form makes price and coverage comparisons easy.
What is On My Declarations Page?
There’s no one correct way to format a car insurance declarations page. The way this form looks from one insurer to the next will likely vary. What’s important is the information outlined on the sheet.
In the event of an accident, you’ll need to exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. There are a few things you’ll want to look for, and potentially highlight, on your declarations page before that happens:
- Your policy number
- Your insurer’s name and phone number
- Your agent’s name, if applicable
- Your policy effective and expiration date
Keep in mind that when you renew your policy, you may not always get a new declarations page. Because of this, your expiration date may not be current. That’s okay-DMV, insurers, and other entities can easily research this and find your actual policy expiration.
Knowing where these pieces of information are on your car insurance declarations page can save a lot of hassle and reduce your stress if you’re in an accident.
Policy Information on the Declarations Page
In addition to basic contact and policy information, a more detailed description of your coverages will also be included on your car insurance declaration page. The categories listed will vary based on your state and your coverage.
Generally, you’ll find specifics related to the limits on your:
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Property damage liability coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Collision and comprehensive coverages
- Personal injury protection (PIP), if applicable
Should you opt to purchase additional coverages such as emergency assistance or rental reimbursement, these will probably be listed on your declaration page as well.
Additional Declaration Page Information
The above information is pretty standard for your car insurance declaration to contain. Depending upon your insurance company, you may see additional facts about your coverage listed on the form.
- Your covered vehicles and additional covered drivers
- Your monthly, semi-annual, or annual premium amount
- Your deductible amounts for each type of coverage
- Any lienholders to your vehicle
As you can see, this form is quite handy to keep close to you when you’re involved in an accident or if you begin shopping for new insurance coverage. All the information you need to make decisions is available at a glance, making your insurance transactions much easier.
Conclusion: Car Insurance Declaration Page
When you purchase a car insurance policy, you’ll receive a paper summary of your coverage even if you decide to go paperless. Keep this packet of information handy! The glove box of your car is a great place to stash your declaration page. It will be very convenient should an accident occur, and your declaration page is also extremely useful if you’re shopping for new insurance and comparing rates.