Personal Endorsements Explained: Common Beneficial Endorsements
No two people share the same fingerprint and surprisingly, this even applies to identical twins, who share all of the same genetic material. As similar as human beings are to one another, sharing nearly99.9% similar DNA, that .1% represents millions of places within a human genome where unique distinctions can occur. Combined with your life experiences, preferences and lifestyle… you get where we’re going with this, you’re unique. As an agency, we believe your insurance products and experiences should reflect that. One way to do this is through endorsements.
Endorsements are modifications you can purchase to personalize and legally amend your standard insurance policies. This is commonly used to add extra-coverage or upgrades, but it can also be used to exclude coverage, or even clarify policy language. Often, these are obtained within your policy term, or at the time you purchase/renew your standard policies, and in most cases expire when your standard policy is up for renewal.
A Common Scenario
Clayton is an avid sports memorabilia collector. His collection was appraised at $20,000. While his standard homeowner’s policy offers “personal property coverage” up to $150,000, it will not be enough to account for all home possessions plus memorabilia. That’s why Clayton worked with his insurance agent to add an endorsement, overriding his standard policy to include $100,000 personal property coverage and protection for his collection. As Clayton continues to build and exchange his memorabilia, he will be able to add new endorsements that take inventory of these changes.
Here are a few common ways endorsements are used to help you navigate your personal insurance. Of course, we are only a phone call away to help you review and determine what you actually need in detail:
Scheduled Personal Property: Like the example above, anytime you have unique processions or something that has been valued over $1,000 , you should take inventory of these specialty items. If not, they could be left out in case a covered eventdamages them. Think about jewelry pieces you own, antiques, artwork, etc. Most policies place special limits on cash, coins and other collectibles, and sub-limits for theft of items like jewelry, silver, or rugs. Listing these items specifically is always the safest way to make sure you have the right amount of coverage on these items.
Adding Natural Events:If you face unique natural and weather-related risks, you should include an endorsement. For example, Floridian’s face flooding, hurricanes, and certain insects. California has seen mudslides and earthquakes, and New York City battles certain rodents. All these things are unique to your environment and can be accounted for in your homeowner’s policy. What weather events are specific to your city?
Adding Unique Home Features:Typically, a standard homeowner’s policy does not cover things like water damage from a sump pump, clogged drain or even city sewage lines near or under your home. This has led to some serious home damage. If you have a basement, this is definitely a wise endorsement to consider.
Clarify Policy Language: The reality is, things change in your life before your policy renewal date. However, just because changes happen mid policy term, doesn’t waive your obligation to update this information. If there is a change in marital status, a name, or occupancy, etc. you’re required to tell your agent so they can add or remove language from an auto or home policy. If this information is not correct or updated, insurance companies can void contracts.
Identity Theft: If you are concerned about identity theft, this endorsement will help cover your costs to investigate and restore your identity. Interested in learning more about insurance in a digital age? Check out our Cyber Liability blog for more information.
There are countless traditional and non-traditional endorsements that your insurance agent can write for you. Here at Heritage Insurance Advisors, we are passionate about pursuing a relationship-based approach to help you address your complete risk management portfolio.