The insurance industry is a mystery to many and most insurance consumers don’t really understand what they own. They get the concept of insurance, but the real nuts and bolts are rarely understood. This is the reason the Memphis Insurance blog was created as a source of easily understood articles which explain how insurance works. In this article, we are going to explain what a declaration page is and what purpose it serves.
The declaration page is usually found on the front of a policy and defines in summary form the terms of the policy and what coverage is included in the policy. The first thing found on the declaration page is the name of the insurance company that is responsible for issuing the policy. Usually this is the name of a nationally recognized company, however, if you are dealing with a local Memphis Insurance company, their name may be in place of the national company.
The next item found on the declaration page is the type of policy. This part of the declaration page tells if the policy is a life, auto, homeowners or some type of health insurance policy such a disability policy. Then the name and address of the policyholder will follow and when the policy will become effective and coverage begins. Because the insured’s name is on the policy, it identifies the policyholder to whom the policy has been issued. It is also very important to know when you policy is in effect in order to avoid a lapse in coverage.
Your declaration page will also indicate the amount of coverage issued by the company. There are a wide variety of policies available and depending on what type the insured has been issued will determine what is in this section of the declaration page. For illustration purposes we will use a Memphis car insurance policy as an example. This kind of policy will reflect the different types of coverage and the amounts. Liability and it’s maximum coverage, property damage, uninsured motorist and comprehensive will all be broken down into their on section outlining type and coverage amounts. Each type of coverage will have it’s own section providing the above details.
There will also be other very important information on the declaration page and we will use a Memphis car insurance policy again as an example. The declaration page will identify individual cars that will be covered by the policy. If it were a Memphis homeowners insurance policy, the address for the property would be shown along with coverage maximums, the deductible if there is one, it’s total amount and the amount of the premium and payment mode.
It should be noted, there is one thing which will not appear on the declarations page and this is exclusions. Exclusions are things that are specifically not covered by the issued policy and it is very important that you, as the insured, should not stop once you have read the declaration page in order to understand your policy and what you have purchased.
There will also be another section in the declaration page which covers endorsements and riders. Many times we already have an insurance policy in force and choose to increase the amount of coverage or add additional protection. Of course these increases in coverage and protection will increase the amount of dollars we pay for coverage, but our lives change as do our needs. In the property and casualty part of the insurance industry, these additional changes or increases in coverage are called endorsements and are referred to as riders in the health and life sections of the industry. All riders and endorsements will be outlined and listed on you declaration page of your insurance policy.
At the bottom of your declaration page you find the signature of the authorized company representative. All insurance policies are contracts and the nature of contract law states that no contract is valid unless signed by someone that is authorized. The declaration page will usually have the signature of a company officer along with your signature making the insurance policy a binding contract.
The declaration page of your insurance policy provides a wealth of information which outlines what you have purchased. It is important however, that you look further into your policy to completely understand your coverage, protection and it the limitations of the policy. Once you receive your policy, set aside time to read the entire policy and if you have questions, please call your local Memphis insurance representative or national company representative for a precise explanation. Insurance professionals are trained to answer your questions and provide you the information you need to be an informed insurance consumer.