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What Are Endorsements, Riders and Floaters in Home Insurance?

By Jarrod Heil

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So you’re researching home insurance and just about got the hang of everything. Then, by the powers that be, you come across terminology that talks about insurance endorsements, riders and floaters.

Suddenly, everything is going over your head and you feel as though you’re out of your element.

Take a deep breath — and maybe a few steps back. Defining those three terms is actually a lot simpler than it sounds.

Keep reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about insurance endorsements, riders and floaters.

What Is an Endorsement in Insurance?

An insurance endorsement is simply an addition to your current insurance policy that raises your coverage limit or extends coverage for specific categories.

These categories can extend to jewelry, sinkholes, identity theft and a slew of other categories that you don’t have coverage for, or want to raise your coverage limit for.

Endorsements and riders are the same things, so don’t be alarmed if you hear either term interchanged. Endorsements and riders are strictly used in property and casualty insurance, so your home and flood insurance policies are likely the only places you’ll hear these terms pop up.

They’re designed to allow insureds to change certain aspects of their coverage without having to cancel their current policy and sign up for a new one.

Let’s look at an example. A common form of endorsement and rider is sewer and drain backup.

Many home and flood insurance policies don’t come standard with sewer and drain backup, which protects your home and personal property if a storm causes the sewer system or pump to stop working and results in water damage.

In this case, adding an endorsement or rider will save you tons of money in the long run — plus it’ll typically only run you an endorsement premium of $50 for an entire year. As we like to say, better safe than sorry.
 
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How to Get Endorsements and Riders

Getting endorsements and riders is as easy as calling your insurance agent and adding them over the phone! You must be one of the named members on the policy to make an addition, too.

What Is a Personal Property Floater?

A personal property floater is simply an addition to your current insurance policy that raises your coverage limits or extends coverage to specific items.

Floater additions get their name because policyholders can, essentially, float more coverage to items like a diamond ring, expensive gold necklace or many other valuable items.

In most scenarios, a personal property floater pertains to jewelry, furs and other high-value items that are categorized very similarly.

Let’s say you have a $2,500 jewelry limit on your policy, but you have $3,500 worth of jewelry. Well if one of those pieces is, let’s say, a $1,200 diamond necklace, you can get a floater to cover its value.

Therefore, you’d still have your $2,500 jewelry limit and you’d also have coverage for that high-value necklace of yours. Getting a floater is easy and usually pretty inexpensive.

It really just depends on how many floaters you’re adding and for how much you’d like to extend each floater coverage for.
 
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What Are Common Types of Endorsements, Riders and Floaters?

  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Furs
  • Collectibles
  • Boats and other watercraft
  • Yard and garden
  • Sewer and drain backup
  • Sinkholes
  • Earthquakes
  • Assisted living care
  • Identity theft

If you come to find out you don’t have adequate coverage for your home, belongings and events that life could potentially throw your way, don’t worry!

Adding endorsements, riders or floaters can help you get more coverage on the things you already have and extend coverage to things you don’t. That means you probably won’t have to cancel your current policy.

So just remember, floaters apply to specific items while endorsements and riders extend to specific categories. See, differentiating the three and understanding each isn’t so difficult after all!

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