Declaration Page for Home Insurance

Home insurance is an agreement between the insurance company and you, the insured, to provide protection for your home for stated types of coverage and losses.

The declaration page is a necessary portion of the legal agreement between you as insured and the insurance company for insurance.

If you have not purchased home insurance before, you will discover that your insurance policy comes in a legal-sized envelope. Usually the policy appears inside a folder with the declaration page as the first thing you see.

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What is on the declarations page?

The declaration page is a legal document that gives basic information about your home insurance coverage. The following information is given on the declaration page:

  • Your legal name and mailing address. Examine the information to be sure that it is accurate.
  • Policy period — home insurance is written for the period of a year and the dates of inception (beginning) and expiration (ending).
  • Yearly premium charges for the home insurance policy — even though the premium may be paid on a monthly or quarterly basis. Compare the discounts you receive with the ones you received last year to make sure that none of the discounts has been omitted.
  • Examine the premium charges carefully to make sure that the insurance company has continued such things as claim-free discounts, discounts for security or protective devices, or multi-policy discounts. C
  • Location of the insured property — the address of the property will be listed; sometimes the legal description of the location will be included as well.
  • Amount of coverage on the dwelling — total amount of coverage
  • Amount of coverage for other structures such as fences or separate buildings and/or fences. The limit of liability is usually 10% of the amount of coverage purchased for the dwelling.
  • Amount of coverage for contents of the dwelling, usually set for 50% of the amount of coverage purchased for the dwelling.
  • Amount of coverage for loss of use, which provides insurance for living expenses should you need them if you are unable to continue to live in the house because of a covered peril.
  • Deductibles applying to coverage
  • Maximum amount of coverage for personal liability pays for your legal liability for injury to others as a result of injury caused by a legal action.
  • Medical payments coverage amount, which pays for injury to others because of an accident or injury on your premises.
  • Usually at the bottom of the limits of coverage, you will find listings of forms that apply under the insurance policy. A copy of these forms will be attached to the declaration page.

If you have a mortgage on your property, the name and mailing address of the mortgagee will be listed on the declaration page.

Mortgagees require that each year they receive a copy of the declaration page. You, as insured, should also receive a new copy of the declaration page yearly.

What Is Not on the Declaration Page?

The declaration page does not include the perils that are covered, restrictions on coverage, exclusions, deductibles, and policy provisions.

There should be a number of endorsements attached to the declaration page to clarify coverage.

The following information should be included in the endorsements attached to the declaration page:

Covered perils insured against – a listing of the causes of damage covered under the insurance policy. Typically, under the Special Form, the HO-3, the following perils are included:

  • Fire, smoke, lightning
  • Windstorm, hail, vehicles, and civil unrest
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Trees and falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, and sleet
  • Freezing, rupturing, or sadden and accidental overflow of systems such as plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, or fire sprinkling systems
  • Sudden and accidental overflow of a household appliance
  • Other perils not specifically excluded
  • Basis of valuation — replacement cost or actual cash value insurance
  • Optional coverage — Riders or floaters to provide coverage for things such as
  • Firearms
  • Jewelry
  • Fine arts

Not Covered Under a Home Insurance Policy

There are certain things that are not covered under the home insurance policy. These things are:

  • Flood Insurance — this coverage is provided only under a federally subsidized program. You can find out about it through FloodSmart, and your local insurance agency
  • Earthquake insurance — this specialized insurance must be provided by a separate earthquake policy, provided through special companies that write this type of insurance through your local agency.
  • Business insurance — coverage is not given for business insurance for items such as day-care providers and office coverage. This type of coverage should be obtained through a separate insurance policy.

Purchasing Home Insurance Policies

Shopping for a home insurance policy is done best by comparison-shopping.

Acquiring quotations from three different insurance companies will help you determine the best coverage and prices.

Steps for Obtaining Quotations

Begin with examining your state’s insurance website to look for insurance companies and agencies that are licensed within your state.

Caution should be used in selecting an insurance company to ascertain the status of the insurance company.

Financial information and complaint information is necessary to accurately assess the status of insurance companies and agencies.

Places to find information are as follows:

Request the Policy Limits You Need

Carefully determine the amounts of insurance that you need to carry on your dwelling along with the coverage required:

    • Dwelling coverage
    • Other structures — such as fences and sheds
    • Personal property
    • Loss of Use
    • Personal liability insurance
  • Medical payments coverage

Decide Upon the Deductible You Require

Consider that the deductible you choose may affect your premiums. Many insurance companies offer credits in return for higher deductibles.

Assess Quotations Carefully

Examine the quotes you receive and determine not only what coverage is offered, but also the premiums quoted.

A close look at the financial rating and complaint record of the insurance companies will help you make the decision about insurance.

Read Your Insurance Policy Carefully

Do not depend only upon the declaration page to ascertain your coverage. Read the policy and endorsements with care to be sure you are aware of the coverage you have on your dwelling.

It is always best to compare rates thoroughly before making any decisions. Be sure to use the FREE tool below to start comparison shopping now!