What is an Insurance Declaration Page or Dec page?

The Declarations page(s) is part of the policy documents. To better understand what the declarations page is, it would be better to first describe what the “policy” is. The “policy” is the agreement that states the rights and duties of the insurance company and you, the insured. The “policy” of an insurance company, is the same policy document others receive who are insured with that same insurance company. Each insurance company has its own policy. There are minor differences between each insurance company’s policies. An insurance company’s policy will detail the various types of coverage, what is and isn’t covered. The policy will also include duties after a loss and general provisions and start with definitions of key insurance words in the policy.

The insurance “declaration page” is unique to each person, or family, insured with the insurance company. The declarations page is what relates you to the insurance company’s policy. The insurance declaration page simply identifies who is insured, what is insured, when the policy takes effect, where the property is located, how much coverage is provided, and which package was selected. The name “declarations page” might infer that it is just one page long, but it could be several pages long. The pages will be numbers, for example, page 1 of 3. If a bank or mortgage company wants to see proof you have insurance on your vehicle, or house, you will want to find and forward all the pages of the declarations page. Make sure the declarations page is current and the end date is in the future.

If you own property in Colorado or live in Colorado, Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. is an independent insurance company offering auto, homeowners, renters, landlord, condo insurance from several insurance companies and can shop for the best coverage and rates. Contact us, call Insurance Agent Martin Sajbel at 303-716-0970 to receive an insurance quote.

An example of a real life large liability claim

One of my stand alone personal umbrella liability carriers

PersonalUmbrella.com has a real life case study of a large liability claim.

Here is the story:

“Zack couldn’t believe his luck: Discovering leftover Fourth of July fireworks in the garage just in time for Halloween. He couldn’t wait to tell his best friend, Fletcher.

While their parents were soundly asleep on Halloween night, the inseparable pair snuck out to give the neighborhood a midnight treat.

Suppressing giggles, Zack lit the inaugural bottle rocket —  it zoomed off-course and landed underneath their neighbor’s car.

The friends rushed over to try to kick it out, but they were too slow — the car caught on fire in moments and as they looked on in disbelief, the tree in the yard and the home followed.

By the time firefighters were at the scene, extensive damage was already done.

Because of “vicarious parental liability,” Zack’s parents were on the hook for his actions, even though they weren’t present and didn’t know what he was up to.

After their homeowners liability limit was exhausted, their standalone personal umbrella policy covered the rest of the damage.

Claim: $620,000″

What is UMBI or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury

UMBI is the coverage on your policy that would pay toward you, family members or passengers in your vehicle if someone else was at-fault in the accident and didn’t have any, or enough BI (Bodily Injury) coverage. Typically the at fault driver should have insurance, but as you know in Denver and Lakewood Colorado, there are many drivers that operate  vehicles without insurance or have the state minimum BI limits. Colorado’s State Minimum for BI is only $25,000 per person and if there was more than one passenger, no more than $50,000 per accident. This isn’t enough coverage if you and other passengers were seriously hurt or killed by a driver with this “legal” amount of coverage.

This UMBI coverage would kick-in and pay for you and your passengers’ injuries, pain and suffering, death benefit, loss of income, disability and more if the other at-fault driver had little or no BI coverage. In Colorado you can’t have more UMBI coverage than you have BI coverage but you can have the same amount. So good insurance agents make sure people have the same amount of coverage for both BI and UMBI. Be wary of agents that don’t include this UMBI coverage on your quote or policy to try to cut the price of the total premium unless you request not to have UMBI. UMBI coverage can be easily overlooked as it a policy coverage (not assigned to any particular vehicle) and is shown as a separate line item premium on the policy. UMBI’s premium is added with the total premiums from each vehicle to make up the total auto policy premium.

The description of the UMBI coverage above is just a general description of that coverage. Refer to your insurance policy to see what your UMBI covers. Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. offer insurance from several insurance companies in Colorado. If you would like a free review of your Colorado auto and homeowners insurance coverage, call Independent Insurance Agent Martin Sajbel of Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. at 303-716-0970.

What is “Class 4” rated roofing shingles and why should you have them?

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a company that tests the impact resistance of roofing shingles to simulate how the roofing would stand up to hail. The test is called UL 2218 and is the standard test in the roofing industry. A roofing shingle tested under UL 2218 is given a rating from Class 1 to Class 4 – Class 4 representing the most impact-resistant roofing shingles.

Insurance companies are starting to realize the benefits of these Class 4 rated shingles and they are starting to give “hail resistive” discounts on policies where the home has Class 4 rated roofing. This discount could be 20% or more depending on factors. If you are replacing your roof, you should consider upgrading to Class 4 roofing shingles. The insurance savings on your homeowner’s policy will pay for the upgrade in about two years. Not all insurance companies offer this discount so check with your agent to see if your insurance company offers this discount.

Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. is an independent insurance agency that can quote homeowner’s insurance from several insurance companies in Colorado. The hail resistive discount is available through our agency for homes with Class 4 rated roofing shingles. Call 303-716-0970 for an insurance quote.

What time of day does an auto or homeowners policy start or end?

Typically “most” insurance companies, start and stop, there polices at 12:01 AM (one minute after midnight). With that, the first day of your policy period you have coverage all that day. The last day of your policy period, you do not have coverage because it ended a minuet after that day started.

Emergency Vehicle Checklist

First Aid Kit, toilet paper stored in a zip-lock bag

Flashlight (preferable a forehead mounted flashlight) with
extra batteries

Jumper Cables, tire chains/cables, and a tarp, extra
old/cheap sunglasses

Road flares or roadside lights or reflectors

Pen, Pencil and paper, vehicle cell phone charger, and a “printed”
out list of important phone numbers.

Extra old warm coat, hats and leather work gloves (a set for
each family member)

Energy Snack Bars, Drinking Water, mints, gum, floss and
small travel tooth brush and paste

Blanket, Umbrella, Kleenex, Ice Scraper/brush

Swiss Army or Leatherman utility knife

Supply of wet baby-wipes stored in a strong freezer zip-lock

Duct tape, Rope, String, Trash bags, twisty and a few extra gallon
size freezer zip-lock bags.

Small handle shovel, zip-ties, tow rope/chain, bungees.

Mace ,Pepper Spray or some other appropriate self-defense
you feel comfortable storing/using.

Red-rag-flag needed if transporting something sticking out
back of your vehicle 4 feet or more.

A Chilton repair manual for your specific vehicle.

Purchase tools that would be commonly used to repair your
vehicle and keep them in your vehicle. Be sure to purchase the size for your
vehicle (metric tools for foreign made vehicles.)

Engine oil, brake fluid (type used for your vehicle) and windshield
wiper fluid.

Accident Check List

Get Help for the injured

Call the police. Remain at the scene of the

Warn oncoming traffic. Set hazard lights and

Try to remain calm.

Do not admit fault.

Get names, addresses and phone numbers of all
passengers and witnesses.

Exchange names, address, phone numbers, makes of
vehicles, driver’s license, vehicle license numbers and insurance
company/policy numbers information with all drivers.

Sketch the accident.

Examine and record damage to other vehicles and

If you are carrying a camera, or camera phone, take
pictures of the scene and damage. Do not discuss the accident or sign any
documents. Only answer questions asked by police and your insurance company’s
claims representative.

Call your insurance company’s claims department


How much liability coverage should I have?

Liability coverage is the coverage on your policy that would pay toward a third party, on your behalf, if you were liable for their damage, injury or death as a result of an accident. Proper liability coverage will preserve all that you have worked for and future earnings via your wages being garnished if coverage and assets aren’t enough to indemnify the third party. Because of this, I believe, your liability coverage is the most important coverage on your policy. This is especially important if you are financially successful and have lots to lose.

The good news is liability coverage is relatively inexpensive. The more the cost is for liability, chances are, the more you need it. For example, adding a youthful driver to your policy can be costly, even with the limit of liability remaining the same. This is because the likelihood of being sued as a result of your inexperienced youthful driver getting into a serious accident causing injuries and possibly death to a third party has been dramatically increased.

What you can do to protect yourself from being sued is increase your liability limit (Bodily Injury, Property Damage) on your auto, home and any other policies (Boat, ATV, landlord policy) to more than your net worth. Some say you should have more liability coverage than your asset base. This might involve purchasing a “personal umbrella liability policy”. These umbrella polices are sold in increments of a million dollars and will usually cost around $200 a year for a one million dollar policy for a typical family with one home and two vehicles.

This umbrella liability policy will provide a blanket of extra liability coverage over and above all your other polices covered under the umbrella. If you own insurance on a boat, ATV, rental properties and more, they would all be protected under this umbrella and that would add a little more cost to the umbrella’s annual premium. There are also added cost for each vehicle you own and household driver under age 25. I usually recommend you purchase an umbrella policy if your net worth is over $250,000. Your net worth is all that you and your spouse own (your asset base) minus loans outstanding. This includes your retirement savings, home, vehicle values and all your personal property including rental properties and a business you own. Just because your rental property or business you own is an LLC or corporation with insurance on it, doesn’t escape you including it in your personal net worth calculation.

If you own it, and can sell it, its value needs to be included in your personal net worth. That can be hard to grasp, but trust me, it is better to be safe than sorry.

One of the added benefits of having higher liability limits on your auto insurance is that you can also have higher limits for UMBI (uninsured/underinsured bodily injury) for a low premium. Having higher UMBI coverage helps to indemnify you and passages if someone else hits you and has little or no liability insurance to pay for your injuries, pain and suffering, loss of wages or even death of a loved one.

If you have questions or concerns about how much liability coverage you need, contact Independent Insurance Agent Martin Sajbel for a free consultation.

Helpful tips on adding a youthful driver to your auto insurance policy?

Adding a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy has dramatic affect on the premium. But there are things you should know that will help reduce those costs. Each insurance company is different, so be sure to consult your insurance agent for underwriting rules and discounts. The following tips are only general in nature.

  • Good Student Discount – If your son or daughter is a full time student and has a 3.0 current, or cumulative, GPA and is under 25, they my qualify for this discount.
  • Driver Training Discount – If your child has taken driver’s training, copy their certificate and forward it to your insurance company to receive this discount. Children will listen to professionals teach them better than they might listen to their mom and dad. And the added driving knowledge and experience from a training class could possibly save their life.
  • Distant Student Discount – If you have a child going to collage over 100 miles from your home and they are not taking a vehicle, they may qualify for this discount. This way they will be covered driving your vehicle while they are back at home during the school breaks.
  • Student away at collage – If your child is away at collage, as a full time student,  with one of your vehicles, they and their vehicle can remain on your policy even if the collage is out of state.  This isn’t a discount but could save you a lot of money compared to purchase a separate policy for them alone.  This allows them to take advantage of the multi-car discount.
  • No tickets or accidents – Except for the obvious pain that comes with a ticket or accident, all household drivers need to try to keep your records clean especially while there is a youthful driver in the house.
  • Ask for an insurance review – Adding a youthful driver to your policy is an important time to review all your coverages and discounts. You might fine you could drop some coverages you don’t need and save money. You may also want to consider increasing your liability limits or adding an umbrella liability policy with the added risk of a youthful driver. This might add to your insurance costs but losing your house in a lawsuit because you were under insured on your liability limits would be more devastating.
  • Insure through an Independent Insurance Agent– Independent Insurance Agents can quote your auto insurance with several insurance companies to find you the best rate now that you have a youthful driver. Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. is an independent insurance agency and we could help find you the insurance company that fits you best. Paying auto insurance for your new youthful driver can sometimes be a shock if you are not prepared. Call Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. to help alleviate the pain of high premiums on your youthful driver.

Should I purchase the insurance offered by rental car companies?

You should always check with your insurance agent and read your insurance company’s policy to make sure your auto insurance coverage would extend to a rental car. Coverage could very from company to company. Even if you have your auto insurance through Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc your insurance coverage could change depending on the insurance company you are insured with, within our agency. In general, most auto insurance companies I have work with will extend coverage from the best insured vehicle on your auto policy, if not excluded for some reason. So if you do not have collision and comprehensive (liability only) on any one of your vehicles currently insured, then you wouldn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage extend to the vehicle you are renting. In that case, you may want to purchase the coverage offered by the rental car company.

If you have more than one auto insurance company in the household, most policies will exclude coverage for non-owned vehicles. I believe insurance companies put this in their policy to eliminate double coverage or to avoid conflict with the other insurance company in the household as to what insurance company is responsible if there was a loss. Most of the time, it is best to have all your vehicles, in the household, insured with the same insurance company and not split them among two or more insurance companies.

Insurance companies will also exclusion coverage to a large vehicles or trucks rented. If you are renting a moving truck, coverage may NOT extend from your auto policy to that moving truck.  For example, coverage may extend if the vehicle’s GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) is 10,000 LB or less. Within the same insurance company this weight limit may change depending on the type of coverage extended for i.e. collision, comprehensive or liability.

Higher risk auto insurance companies might have limited coverage for this. One insurance company “Viking/Dairyland” will only extend coverage for a rental vehicle if it is needed as temporary transpertation while the main vehicle is in the shop. They will not extend coverage for a rental vehicle rented while on vacation.

Keep in mind your auto policy may only cover a rental car driven in the United States and maybe Canada. If you plan on renting a vehicle in Mexico or other counties, more than likely, your coverage will not extend to those territories.

Many policy holders will make the mistake that this extension of insurance coverage for a rental car is covered under a coverage called “Loss of use” or “Rental Car” coverage. This is not the same coverage. If you have “Loss of use” or “Rental Car” coverage on your declaration page, that coverage pays for the cost of a rental car while an insured vehicle cannot be operated and is being repaired for damage payable under collision or comprehensive coverage.