The average person uses 700 pounds of paper annually in the United States. While sorting through mountains of paper lying around, a person will generally come across papers called "declarations pages" and may wonder what purpose that this small collection of paper serves. The quick answer is that the declarations page on an insurance policy serves to outline the coverage specifics of the policy. A car insurance declarations page will provide information about a specific auto insurance policy.
Car insurance declarations pages will detail such information as the name, policy number and policy periods of the insurance. It will list the name, address, vehicles covered (year, make, model, and often vehicle identification number), coverage type and premiums for all vehicles on the policy, and it will specifically break down each type of coverage as well as the limits of the insurance company's liability and the amount of deductible, or how much an insured needs to pay on each vehicle before the company pays, if any. Information will be provided on the costs of each vehicle on the insured's policy and what kind of coverage each vehicle has.
Declarations also outline the limits of coverage that a specific policy includes, like liability coverage (insurance towards others), medical payments (the coverage of medical expenses for the policy owner and others in his or her vehicle), uninsured motorist coverage (the coverage of medical expenses if a collision occurs with another driver who is not insured), collision coverage, towing and labor costs.
Other information listed on car insurance declarations includes the loss payee (whoever is financially responsible for the vehicle), the lien holder (a company or individual who owns the vehicle), and endorsements (exceptions or special rules about the policy).
Clearly, a declarations page is an important record of the car insurance transaction and can come in handy as evidence of coverage or if there is no electronic record of coverage. Many insurance companies offer more attractive rates and fewer limitations when a person switches companies without a lapse in coverage (continuously being insured without an interruption) and a declarations page can indicate that a person has indeed remained current in his or her car insurance coverage.
Though a car insurance declarations page is necessary, a person will generally only need the most recent declarations page unless there have been significant changes or exclusions listed on the policy. If the declarations page is on a vehicle the owner no longer has, if the insurance has already expired, or if the policy has been renewed several times, recycle some of that mountain and clear out some of that 700 pounds of paper!