What Is an Insurance Endorsement?

An insurance endorsement is an amendment or addition to an existing insurance contract that changes the terms or scope of the original policy.

Learn more about insurance endorsements and how they work.

What is an insurance endorsement?

Endorsements are also called riders. They can be used to add, remove, delete, or change coverage. They can be issued for the life of your policy, at the time of purchase or upon renewal and are legally binding amendments to an insurance contract.

Types of insurance endorsements

Insurance endorsements can be additional documents added to your policy or replacements for previous policy documents.

For example, let's say you change your address with your insurer and they send you an endorsement with the new address.

The old policy contract with the old address is no longer valid and the endorsement replaces the original contract document.

When an endorsement adds coverage, lists additional conditions, or adds restrictions or limitations after underwriting by the insurer, this is usually done by adding documents to your policy.

This is because the full text of the policy or contract is not affected, only the new terms are specified. The endorsement becomes a supplement to the policy and must be kept with the original document.

What do insurance endorsements cover?

Insurance endorsements can cover a wide range of situations. For example, if a couple divorces, one of the spouses can apply for an endorsement to remove an ex-spouse from home or auto insurance policies. The spouse will receive new documents that reflect the proper owner.

A common example of home insurance is the inclusion of endorsements for specific items. Valuable items like art and jewelry can be worth more than the coverage limits of a standard policy, so these items may have endorsements that better reflect their value. These changes will also increase your policy premiums.

Endorsements can also eliminate or limit coverage. For example, your homeowner's insurance policy may have an endorsement that excludes certain types of water damage to your property.

You can also increase your deductible and receive an endorsement that reflects the change. Your deductible is the amount you pay for covered losses before your policy begins coverage.

Do I need an insurance endorsement?

If you own items of value or have had a change in your home or business, an endorsement may be required. It is good practice to review your insurance policies annually and make sure they meet your current needs. An experienced insurance agent can help you assess whether you need an endorsement or a different type of policy.

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Source: Allstate

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