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How to Read & Understand Your Car Insurance Declarations Page

Updated on: 3/25/2020

Insurance can be complicated, but your declarations page is there to provide you a one page breakdown of everything that your policy covers and doesn't cover, but how well do you really understand it? 

While trying top summarize an entire policy into a single page sounds great, sometimes these declaration pages can be as hard to read as the legalese they're supposed to be replacing. 

Understanding your declarations page can help you make sure you're not being taken advantage of by your insurance company and know if they may be acting in bad faith.

In this article we'll break down how to read and understand your insurance declaration page and what it could mean if you're in an accident.

What To Look For

The declaration page is a one stop shop for all the important info on your policy, but what info should you be looking for?

Your declaration page should include:

  • Your personal information including policy number address and contact information
  • Vehicle information such as make, model, year, and vin number for all vehicles covered under the policy
  • Names of all drivers on your policy
  • Your premium, both total and by vehicle
  • Any discounts applied to the policy
  • Coverage types
  • Limits
  • Deductibles

These sections make up the broad outline of your insurance policy, but when more specific questions about your policy arise you will need to be able to understand what each of these pieces of info means. 

Identifying Information

Information such as your personal info, policy number, names of drivers on your policy, and your vehicle information are all different forms of info that tie the policy to you and your vehicles specifically.

It is important that the information on this page is accurate as an error in something like the vin number of vehicles or missing a vehicle or driver all together could lead to serious problems down the line if unaddressed.

Always make sure that you update your policy using your policy number when any of this information changes including a change in address, adding a driver, or adding or getting rid of a vehicle. 

Coverage

At the end of the day the coverage is what you're paying for with car insurance so it's important to understand exactly what you're getting, and the declarations page is a great place to see exactly which coverage options you have applied to your policy. 

It is important to understand that while many drivers believe that having "Full" coverage means that they are carrying a full suite of every coverage option available what it really means is they simply carry the "full" amount of coverage legally required in the state of Washington. 

Drivers who simply carry "full" coverage could be carrying large gaps in coverage that could leave them vulnerable in the case of certain types of accidents.

And while there is no one type of coverage that is right for everyone, Davis Law Group regularly recommends drivers carry a few specific protections on their policy.

 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which helps pay medical expenses and even lost wages in some accident cases and is a "no fault coverage" meaning it applies even if you are found to be the at fault driver. 

Uninsured or underinsured motorist protection (UIM) provides a driver coverage in case an accident is caused by a driver with little or no insurance themselves.

At the end of the day if you've been in an accident and are struggling to understand your coverage and recovery options, the team at Davis Law Group are here to help with skilled and experienced car accident attorneys and case investigators offering free case evaluations to accident victims. 

To request a free case evaluation with Davis Law Group call 206-727-4000 or use the chat or contact options on this page to request your case evaluation today.  

 

Chris Davis
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Christopher M. Davis is principal attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.
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