What is an auto insurance “Dec Page,” and why does my lawyer need it?

You had the unfortunate luck to get into an auto crash. However, you also had the foresight to hire an attorney. Yay, you!  Now, that attorney wants a copy of your Declarations Page or “Dec Page.”  What is it?  Why does your attorney want it?

What is An Auto Insurance “Dec” Page

What is a declarations or “dec” page?

A Declarations or “Dec” Page is usually a single sheet of paper that details the coverage provided to a person for the vehicle they own and use. You pay your insurance premiums. In return, the insurance company provides you with certain protections for when you are involved in a car crash. The Dec Page is a quick snapshot of what coverage you have and for how much.

When you are involved in a car crash, there are at least three types of coverages that may come in to play from your auto insurer: (1) liability insurance; (2) medical expense benefits; and (3) uninsured motorist coverage. For a more in-depth explanation about coverages, click here.

    1. Liability insurance: This is a sum of money your insurance company may pay out when you are the cause of a crash, and the other person was injured.
      1. In Virginia, you are required to carry at least $30,000.00.
    2. Medical expense benefits: This is a sum of money your insurance company may pay out when you are involved in a car crash no matter who is at fault.  This sum is used to reimburse you for medical expenses and/or lost wages.
      1. In Virginia, this is optional coverage.
      2. Sometimes, you can stack these policies to get access to more coverage.
      3. For more information about medical expense benefits, click here.
    3. Uninsured motorist coverage: This is a sum of money your insurance company may pay out when you are injured after being involved in a car crash that was not your fault.
      1. In Virginia, you are automatically enrolled in the same amount of coverage as your liability policy, unless you certify in writing that you want to carry less.
      2. This does not come into play unless the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to compensate you fully and fairly for your injury claim.
      3. For more information about uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, click here.

What does a Declarations Page look like?

Below is a sample “Dec Page” from a company providing insurance to someone in Virginia.

Declarations Page

This person has a liability policy of $300,000.00 per person. This means that the person has $300,000.00 available to them if they cause a crash, and the other party suffers an injury.

Declaration Page 2

This person has a medical expense benefit policy of $5,000.00 per vehicle. This means this person can be reimbursed by their own insurance company for medical expenses and/or lost wages, no matter who caused the crash.

Declaration Page 3

This person has an uninsured motorist policy for $300,000.00.  This means that this person has $300,000.00 available to them in the event they are injured in a crash that was not their fault.

Why does my attorney need a copy of this?

There are many reasons why your attorney may request this document.  Here are some reasons why I request this information from my clients:

  1. I need to know your uninsured motorist coverage. When a case first comes to me, I don’t know much about the at-fault party. After we get the Accident Report from the policy department, I will know what insurance company covers the vehicle and the policy information. However, the Accident Report does not tell me how much coverage exists. I have to assume that they carry the minimum limits. I am looking for a copy of the Dec Page to be better able to explain to you (my client) what coverage is available if the at-fault party doesn’t have coverage, or if your claim exceeds the amount of coverage they do carry.
    1. Once your medical bills and/or lost wages are greater than $12,500.00, or a DUI is involved, I can send a letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance, and they are required to tell me this information.
  2. I’m looking for medical expense benefits. A large concern for people when they walk through our door is “Who is going to pay for my medical bills?” Your health insurance should be billed first.  But if there are co-pays, or you don’t have insurance, this is a sum of money I can help you collect to offset this financial pressure.
    1. Warning! If you have Medicare, there are certain rules about using your medical expense benefits primary to your health insurance.  For more information, click here.
  3. I need to know the corporate name of your insurance company. Some cases are not resolved prior to filing a lawsuit. When we file suit, we must provide notice of the lawsuit to the at-fault party and the insurance companies involved. Some insurance companies have different corporate entities.  The Dec Page will help me ensure that I have the right one.

mad young woman in front of her wrecked car

An example of how all this works

Sally Samuels is lawfully stopped, waiting at a red light when Sneaky Steve crashes into the rear of her vehicle. This impact causes her head to be thrown forward and backward. Her seatbelt locks against her shoulder, and her right wrist is slammed against the driver’s wheel.

Immediately, she has pain in her neck, left shoulder, right wrist, right hip, and lower back. She is taken by ambulance to Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital where she has five x-rays, and a head CT. She is diagnosed with the following:

  • A mild concussion
  • Whiplash
  • A neck sprain
  • A low back sprain
  • A left shoulder contusion
  • A right hip contusion
  • A fracture to her right wrist, requiring emergency surgery

Sally’s total medical bills after surgery and physical therapy are $85,000.00. She was out of work for 4 weeks following her surgery, and she missed several days/hours to make medical appointments. Her lost wages are $15,000.00. Her economic damages are $100,000.00.  She also has a claim for damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience.

Sally carries insurance with Virginia Farm Bureau.  She has a liability policy for $250,000.00. She has an uninsured/underinsured policy for $250,000.00. She also has medical expenses benefits that can be stacked up to $10,000.00.

Upon receipt of the ER bill, her Allen & Allen attorney immediately forwards a copy to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, State Farm. We learn the at-fault driver, Sneaky Steve, only carriers the state minimum limits of $30,000.00.

  • How much will the insurance company for the at-fault driver, Sneaky Steve, be required to pay?

Sneaky Steve has a policy with a maximum coverage of $30,000.00. Even if his company paid all they were required to pay, Sally still has $55,000 in medical bills, $15,000 in lost wages, and her non-economic damages remaining.

  • How can Sally Samuels get full compensation for her claim?

Sally, with the help of her attorney, can file an uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist claim to access her policy for up to $250,000.00 more in insurance coverage. She can also receive $10,000.00 from her medical expense benefit policy to help toward her bills.


Dealing with insurance companies or your own insurance coverages can be a headache, even without a personal injury case thrown into the mix. And if this sounds like a lot to you, you are not alone. Our personal injury attorneys can help!  At Allen & Allen, we have experience helping clients with various aspects of the impact of insurance on a personal injury case. If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, call us for a free consultation at 1-866-388-1307.

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