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What are “Endorsements” in a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy?

Fri Feb 28th, 2020 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

When you buy homeowner’s insurance, you don’t expect it to cover everything. But, you might expect it to cover more than it actually does. While homeowner’s policies often start with broad coverage language, this language is subject to a laundry list of exclusions; and, in order to have these excluded perils covered, homeowners must pay extra for “endorsements.”

Which Endorsements Should Florida Homeowners Choose?

In the context of insurance, an endorsement is additional coverage for something that falls outside of the standard policy language. Endorsements are available for many (but not all) exclusions, and individual homeowners’ needs will vary. The following are examples of common exclusions for which endorsements are available:

  • Scheduled Personal Property – If the value of your personal property (the items in your home) exceeds the standard coverage under your policy, then you may need a scheduled personal property endorsement. The term “scheduled” references the fact that the types of personal property covered will be listed as a schedule to the standard policy (homeowners should be sure to review this schedule carefully).
  • Personal Property Replacement Cost – Standard homeowner’s insurance policies pay the “actual cash value” of personal property damaged in storms and other casualty events. The personal property replacement cost endorsement provides coverage for the cost of repair or replacement without a depreciation reduction.
  • Inflation Guard – As inflation increases the cost of rebuilding your home, your standard policy limits can become insufficient. As its name implies, the inflation guard endorsement is designed to ensure that the amount of your coverage keeps pace with the rising cost of building materials and construction services.
  • HomeBased Business – Business activities and business property are excluded under most standard homeowner’s insurance policies. If you own a home-based business, this endorsement can provide coverage for property damage and certain types of business-related liabilities.
  • Watercraft – A watercraft endorsement provides coverage for boats and other vessels that suffer storm damage and will typically provide coverage for accident-related damage and liability claims as well.
  • Golf Cart – Similar to the watercraft endorsement, varying endorsement options are available for golf carts as well.
  • Sewer Backup – If your home floods due to a sewer backup, the damage may not be covered under your standard policy language. Sewer backup endorsements provide coverage for damage resulting from ruptured drains, sewers, septic systems and sump pumps.

Flood Insurance: Florida Homeowners Need a Separate Policy

Importantly, one endorsement that is not available is coverage for flood damage. In Florida, homeowners must purchase separate flood insurance, either through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or a private insurer.  

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