Endorsements and Riders: Know When You Need Them


Saying you are going to buy insurance sounds easy enough. Maybe you want to insure your car or your home or your business—or yourself, with a health or life policy. Finding a good insurance agent is your first task, and then explaining exactly what you need. You may be happy enough to let your agent figure out most of the details, hit the highlights with you, and then complete the transaction with some signatures and an initial payment for premiums. This may not be a problem if you never have a claim but having a comprehensive understanding of your policy really is necessary so that you understand your coverage.

Peace of mind is good, but not if it is based on error! Take the time to listen to your insurance agent when you are buying a policy and ask for clarification on anything that seems vague—or difficult to understand. This is especially important regarding any changes or additions to your policy too, in the form of exclusions or riders.

With an exclusion, there may be certain coverage that is not available to you. This is extremely important to know about and understand so you are not left unprotected later. A good example of an exclusion would be typical in a homeowner’s policy: flooding is usually excluded and must be purchased separately. In an automobile accident, there may be a liability exclusion if your business vehicle were to be damaged—meaning that your personal policy clearly states that it would not be covered.

A rider is the opposite of an exclusion as it adds something to your policy, usually at additional cost. You may add a rider to your life insurance like an accelerated death benefit option so that the policy pays out early, while you are still alive, should you be stricken with an unfortunate, terminal illness. As another example, you may add a rider to your homeowner’s insurance for valuables such as jewelry that could have been excluded otherwise. Speak to your insurance agent about all your assets and valuables that need to be protected and understand what isn’t covered so that you can then examine whether it is worth it (or necessary) to buy additional riders for your insurance policy.

Are you concerned about a recent claim, or are you trying to understand your insurance policy? If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, the Bolender Law Firm will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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