Part Four, Endorsements and Exclusions
If you are following our blog, we haven now explored many of the common elements in a home owner‘s insurance policy and showed you some things to be aware of. In this post, we are going to walk you through understanding endorsements and exclusions.
In most cases, a homeowner purchases insurance with the belief that if something happens, their property and possessions will be covered. This is not always so. When it comes to items of particular value, or specials features your home may have, you may need to have a special clause added to your policy known as an endorsement. An endorsement simply puts in writing special coverage for items that are not covered under a standard policy. In most cases, there will be additional cost, but that is only right, since the insurer is now assuming additional risk. You will need to talk with your agent specifically to determine if they offer coverage that can be added to your policy for the item you want endorsed, and to find out how much it will add to the cost of your policy. Any endorsements you already have, will be listed on your declaration page, and new endorsements can be added at any time, provided no damage has occurred, and a major storm event is not predicted.
Exclusions are exactly what they sound like
Exclusions are exactly what they sound like. These parts of your policy list items and features that are specifically outside the coverage of your policy. Unlike endorsements, which are added by the home owner and become part of the declarations page, exclusions are added throughout the policy, and there are many of them in most policies. You should know what exclusions are a part of yours to avoid unpleasant surprises in the case of a damage claim.
Endorsements can sometimes be added to cover excluded items, removing the exclusion and outlining the coverage provided. Talk with your agent about specific exclusions that you would like to include in your coverage to determine if that is possible.
Common exclusions include, terrorist attacks, mudslides, fire, flooding, damage due to negligence, and other common possible sources of loss.
Don’t assume that because one agent cannot offer a product to protect your property, or a portion of it, that you cannot be insured. Shop around, and don’t be afraid to ask for exceptions, you never know what you might find once you start looking. By the way, many insurance agencies offer insurance from more than one company, so your long time agent, is the best place to start.