What a Car Insurance Declaration Page Is and How To Use It

A car insurance declaration page outlines what you’re covered for and how much you’re paying.
Ryan Brady
By Ryan Brady 
Edited by Lacie Glover

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Reading and trying to understand a car insurance declaration page might feel overwhelming at first. The abundance of insurance jargon and numbers makes it a complex document to navigate, but it's not as complicated as it seems.

This guide will help you understand a declaration page, when to use it and how to read it.

What is a declaration page for car insurance? 

An auto insurance declaration page is a snapshot of your auto policy distilled to just one or two pages. Found either as a standalone document or at the beginning of the auto insurance policy, it provides the essential information related to a policy, such as:

  • Who is covered.

  • What cars are covered.

  • When coverage begins and ends.

  • The types of coverage you're paying for and their limits.

  • A breakdown of how much you pay for coverage and any discounts you qualify for.

  • The policy number.

When to use it

An insurance declaration page can help you understand your policy at a high level. However, it's not meant to give you an exhaustive breakdown of the finer points included in your contract.

Use your declaration page as a quick reference guide whenever you need a refresher on what coverage you have, how long your policy lasts and how much you're paying. When you first sign up for a policy or renew an existing one, you must review your declaration page to ensure all personal and vehicle information is correct and you're getting the right amount of coverage.

Take note: Your car insurance declaration page does not serve as proof of insurance for law enforcement or the DMV. For that, we recommend keeping an auto insurance ID card somewhere in your glove compartment or on your phone.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Because declaration pages provide an itemized list of all coverages and costs, we recommend using it when comparing quotes with other insurance companies.

How to read an auto insurance declaration page

While every declaration page looks slightly different, you can expect basic policy and personal information.

The rest of the declaration page will outline how you're protected if you need to file a claim. This part can get dizzying, as it's scattered with insurance terms and dollar amounts.

Here's a list of standard terms you'll likely encounter and what they mean:

Coverage types. You'll likely see an itemized list of several coverage types (the ones you're paying for) with no clear definitions on your declaration page. To learn how they work, read our types of car insurance explainer.

Deductible. A deductible is a set amount that is subtracted from a claim payout. For example, if your claim payout is $1,200, but your deductible is $500, you'll receive $700 from your insurance company. 

Discounts. Your car insurance declaration page will include any discounts you qualify for.

Coverage limits. Limits are the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a covered claim on specific coverage types. They are typically listed as a dollar amount next to each coverage type included on your declaration page.

Premium. A premium is the amount you pay for your auto insurance policy. A declaration page typically lists the individual premium for each coverage type so you can see how much that coverage costs for each vehicle on the policy. Premiums may also be summed, expressed as an annual or six-month total.

Stacked and Non/unstacked. You may see the terms "stacked" or "non/unstacked" on your auto declaration page if you pay for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage , or UMBI and UIMBI, and have multiple vehicles on your policy or your name is on multiple car insurance policies. Stacked coverage means you can combine UMBI and UIMBI coverage limits for multiple vehicles under a single policy (or across numerous policies your name is on) if you need to make an uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury claim. Non/unstacked coverage will cover only the maximum limit listed for each vehicle.

Frequently asked questions

Most insurance companies will mail or email your declaration page upon signing up for a new policy or renewing an existing one. You may also find your declaration page by logging into the insurance company's website or mobile app, if they have one, and navigating to the documents section. You can also directly reach out to your insurer or agent for help.

Car insurance declaration pages are meant to provide a quick summary of your auto policy. But sometimes, you need to dig deeper. For more details about your policy, refer to your actual auto policy if you have it handy, or contact your insurer or agent directly.

No. You’ll have to use your auto insurance ID card to prove you have insurance. This will likely have already been mailed or emailed to you, but you can sometimes access it through the insurer’s website or mobile app.

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