One of the questions we hear most often is,
What is a renters insurance declarations page, and why does my landlord want to see it? What information on there could he possibly want? Aren’t there privacy concerns?
As always, Effective Coverage has the insurance answers you need. This one is the same nationwide, so whether you have Chula Vista, CA Renters Insurance or renters insurance in Omaha, the answer is relevant to you.
What Is A Declarations Page?
The declarations page of your renters insurance is what sets out the types and amounts of coverage that are available on your policy. The policy document, or policy form, is what tells you when the coverage applies, what situations it applies to, and similar information.
Consider the policy document to be what defines the specific coverage, while the declarations page tells you if you have it, how much of it you have, and often what part of the cost of the policy it makes up. For instance, you know that personal property coverage pays for a loss where there’s damage to your property from specified causes of loss.
But do you know how much of that coverage you have, and what it pays based on?
The declarations page will tell you those things. You’ll find both coverage levels and forms and endorsements that are made a part of the policy on this document. The declarations page might say that you have $15,000 of personal property coverage. But that doesn’t tell you on what basis the coverage pays.
Elsewhere on your declarations page, however, you’ll see that you have either “replacement cost coverage” or “actual cash value” coverage. Ideally, you want to see replacement cost. If you see that, it means you’ll get enough money to buy new property at retail to replace what suffered the loss.
If you only see actual cash value coverage, you should consider adding replacement cost. The actual cash value of personal property is the depreciated cost based on how long you’ve owned it and what condition it’s in. If someone stole your laptop that you’ve had for three years, the depreciated value of that laptop is nowhere near enough to go buy a new computer. You certainly don’t want to replace your laptop by shopping on Craigslist, do you?
That’s why you should see replacement cost coverage on your declarations page.
You’ll see other forms and endorsements there, as well. For example, you’ll commonly see the HO-300 endorsement. This doesn’t cost you anything, but it shows up on your declarations page. The HO-300 is just a state-specific supplement that modifies the standard policy document to comply with the requirements of your particular state. It’s not optional, and it doesn’t generally change the cost of the policy.
If you have roommates endorsed onto your renters insurance, you’ll see them on the declarations page as well. You may see them on an amended copy if you bought the policy and then added them, because the original copy was already on its way.
Why Does My Landlord Want To See My Declarations Page?
Remember how we mentioned that your declarations page is where forms and endorsements appear? Their details appear here as well. Adding your landlord as an additional interested party is actually an endorsement to the policy. That just means it adds a document that modifies the policy so your landlord gets notification of changes in policy status.
Your landlord wants to see this document for two reasons. First, they want to verify that you have the coverage you claim to have. It’s probably a requirement of your lease, as a matter of fact. In addition, they want to verify that you’ve listed them as additional interest.
Your landlord wants to be an additional interest because you’re required to have renters insurance. Unfortunately, there are some people who would show a declarations page and then cancel the policy, or who would let the policy cancel for nonpayment. Those situations are the reason why your landlord wants to see the document. You wouldn’t do such a thing, of course, but there are many people out there who would.
Are There Privacy Concerns With Giving My Landlord The Declarations Page?
No. There are no privacy concerns with giving your landlord the declarations page. There is nothing on there that your landlord doesn’t already know! You’ve told him that you have Chula Vista, CA Renters Insurance, of course, so he already knows that. The levels of coverage are very much his concern, since there’s a lease requirement that you have a certain amount of liability.
And let’s face the facts here. Your landlord knows where you live. Your address is largely private, but not when it comes to a conversation with the person who rents that home to you. By the same token, your landlord should know if you have roommates so having them endorsed onto the policy is not exactly revealing private information.
One very limited exception might if you’ve endorsed valuable items such as jewelry onto your renters insurance. If you have a ten thousand dollar Rolex, that might not be any of the landlord’s business and you might want to keep that information private. In that case, just call Effective Coverage and ask for a certificate of insurance that does not contain that information. It has most of the same data as your declarations page, but it won’t include valuable items coverage so you can keep that private from your landlord.
What you pay for your renters insurance is also really not private information. The landlord already knows that the average cost of renters insurance in California is around fifteen dollars a month. The landlord also really doesn’t care what you pay for the coverage. That information doesn’t reveal anything about you or your finances, especially since you probably underwent a credit check to qualify for the apartment. You can safely give your landlord a copy of the declarations page without revealing any personal or private information to them.
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