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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

How Do Insurance Endorsements Work?

 By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay

If you’ve ever endorsed a check, then you know that it gives you the right to either cash or deposit a financial instrument.  In the insurance business, an endorsement provides the policyholder the right to either extend or add to their coverage without having to initiate a new policy.  Endorsements can be used to activate insurance options that aren’t included with basic coverage.  Once activated, endorsements are in effect as long as your policy is in force, unless the insurer stipulates a limited-term or decides to no longer offer the endorsement when it comes time to renew your policy.  In today’s blog, I’ll show you ten ways that you can enhance your coverage by adding endorsements to existing policies.

1. Personal Property Coverage – In typical homeowner and renter policies, personal property coverage is limited at best.  Not only do basic policies limit your ability to get compensated for personal possessions, some property, such as jewelry, collectibles, or art objects are specifically excluded from coverage.  By adding an endorsement, not only will you be able to get reimbursed for losses on such items, but the limit for the maximum amount of available personal property protection can be increased substantially.  You may even be able to choose a lower deductible or no deductible at all in certain situations.  

2. Add to or amend existing insurance coverage. – If you’ve recently married or gotten divorced, there are endorsements that allow you to add a person to or remove a person from your existing coverage.  If you own multiple properties or multiple insurance policies, there are endorsements that can save you money by bundling policies under one insurance provider.

3. Turn off coverage you don’t need. – If you own a condo or townhouse where you pay a fee to the homeowner’s association that provides group coverage for exterior damage, an endorsement may make it possible for you to opt-out of such coverage that’s currently specified on your policy.  

4. An endorsement can turn a no into a yes. – If you live in an area that’s earthquake-prone and you noticed that your policy excludes earthquake protection, an endorsement is all it takes to get covered.  The same goes for flood coverage or coverage for any part of your property that is currently excluded from coverage.  If you want to turn a no to a yes when it comes to having your gazebo, fence, or detached garage covered when your policy lists any or all of them as exclusions, all it takes to add them to your policy is an endorsement.

5. Do you own a home-based business? – If you work from home, your homeowner’s policy provides little or no coverage for your home-based business.  Even if you’re covered for liability and property losses on your current policy, this coverage doesn’t extend to your business.  That means if a delivery driver slips and falls while loading your orders into the truck or your $5,000 3D printer is stolen or destroyed, you’ll soon learn that your homeowner’s insurance isn’t going to pay you one red cent unless you acquired a home-based business endorsement. 

6. Can you afford to replace your car? – Maybe you can and maybe you can’t, depending on the age of your vehicle and your auto insurance policy.  Especially during the first year or two of ownership, a car’s replacement value may exceed what an insurer is prepared to pay should your vehicle be stolen or totaled in a wreck.  That’s why gap coverage was invented, so you could add an endorsement that can make up the difference, so you won’t be stuck paying more than the depreciated value to buy a replacement.

7. Afraid of being hacked or having your identity stolen? – There are a number of endorsements that address cybercrimes and identity theft.  Everything from cyber fraud, cyberextortion, and even cyberbullying can be covered by adding an endorsement designed to protect you from online predators.

8. Do you want your home to smell like a landfill? – Of course not.  But it will if your sewer should ever back up into your home.  Sewer backups are typically excluded from coverage on most homeowners’ policies.  That’s the bad news. The good news is you can add an endorsement to make the problem (and the smell) go away should it ever happen to you.

9. Do you own a small boat? – Adding a watercraft endorsement to your existing homeowner’s policy can cover a small boat for damage and liability whether it’s sitting at the dock, in the water, or on a trailer.  A yacht on the other hand will require a separate policy.

10. Do you own a big dog? – Many homeowners’ policies exclude some breeds of dogs from coverage should they bite anyone or damage someone else’s property.  This can leave the homeowner holding the bag should their dog misbehave.  If your homeowner’s policy currently excludes your dog from being covered, ask your agent about obtaining a canine liability exclusion endorsement.

Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida, Insurance in Orange Park, Florida.  To find out more about saving money on all your insurance needs, check out her website at http://aplusallfloridainsuranceinc.com/


2 comments:

  1. It's a lot easier to add an endorsement than to take out a new policy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is excellent advice. Most of us never review much less look to see where the gaps are in our coverage. That's why I love independent agencies.

    ReplyDelete

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