Introduction to Policy Endorsements in connection with Homeowner Insurance Policy

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If you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, you may also have various policy endorsement associated with that policy. Simply stated, an endorsement, also known as a sometimes referred to as rider, are additional pages that are made part of the insurance policy which adds, deletes, excludes, or changes insurance coverage. An endorsement/rider can also be used by homeowners to increase standard limits of coverage and take precedent over the original agreement or policy.

The homeowner three insurance policy is the most common policy in Massachusetts where the home is owner-occupied. Generally, the homeowner three insurance policy provides coverage for all physical loss unless otherwise excluded or limited. A typical homeowner three policy is generally approximately 20 to 30 pages long, providing for definitions, property coverages with limitations and exclusions, liability coverage, exclusions, and conditions.

Generally, when you received your homeowner insurance policy it not only has these 20 to 30 pages of the policy, but it most likely contains an additional group of pages with various headings. These additional pages are typically called the endorsements to the policy and they modify the original 20 to 30 pages of the policy itself.

Before the popularity of insurance companies sending the insurance policy electronically, it was relatively easy for the homeowner to separate the homeowner insurance policy from the endorsements. With electronic delivery of the policy, you the homeowner need to pay special attention to all the pages that are sent to you.

All endorsements are not created equal as some endorsements expand coverage while others minimize limitations. An example expanding coverage would be an endorsement that would increase the limit of coverage for jewelry watches and furs for loss by theft from $1,500.00 to $3,000.00. On the opposite end of the spectrum, an example of an endorsement limiting coverage would be an endorsement that excludes coverage for a homeowner that may have a large or an aggressive dog.

It should be noted that various insurance companies are issuing endorsements that severely restricting or limiting coverage. Presently, one insurance company currently has an endorsement that limits water damage coverage to building and contents to $10,000.00. Another company has an endorsement which would significantly limit coverage for repairs to roofing and siding. There is also another insurance company which has an endorsement imposing certain conditions on the homeowner which affect the payment of debris removal.

Given the increased prevalence of endorsement limitations in insurance policies, homeowners need to be aware of what is contained in their home insurance policy and take steps to ensure there is proper coverage. Many homeowner insurance policies automatically renew and often times homeowners rely upon the insurance company to provide coverage only to find out later that they do not have the expected coverage. As a homeowner, you should periodically check your homeowner insurance policy and follow-up with your insurance agent or company should you have questions regarding your coverage.

DISCLAIMER: This and other segments posted on this website are offered for informational and discussion purposes only and is not offered as legal advice. This office only represents homeowners and property owners. We do not represent insurance companies. The information contained in this segment should not be considered to be legal advice.