Enhance Your Property Coverage with Endorsements | Insurance Demystified

At Home

Enhance Property Coverage with Endorsements

You may think your property insurance coverage covers your dwelling and all of your possessions, but has your insurer discussed endorsements with you? Endorsements are optional sources of coverage that aren’t automatically included in your policy because not everyone needs them. They are used to enhance your policy by providing an additional benefit. In some cases, they extend additional coverage to a specific item or a specific type of items, depending on your needs. Let’s take a look at a few endorsements you may want to consider adding to your policy.

Personal Articles Floater for Your Valuables

Perhaps you have some extremely high-value items such as jewellery, silverware, rare coins, fine art, or an “above-average” bicycle. Maybe you just got engaged and you’re sporting a two-carat diamond. If one of your treasures is stolen, you would be devastated to find out your home insurance policy may not cover its entire value. The good news is that a Personal Articles Floater may help cover the entire value.

  • What is a Personal Articles Floater and What Does it Cover?
    A standard homeowner’s insurance policy generally covers personal property anywhere from 50 to 75 per cent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home (this varies by insurer ). For instance, a home with $100,000 worth of insurance on the structure would typically also have between $50,000 and $70,000 worth of coverage for personal belongings such as clothes, furniture, computers, sports equipment and, yes, items like jewellery.

However, some categories of personal property have a maximum dollar limit your insurance company will pay in the event of a covered loss, like theft. Jewellery and other valuables are covered, but usually up to lower dollar limits— typically between $1,000 or $2,000 per item (and that’s not going to cover that two-carat diamond ring). So most insurance companies offer a Personal Articles Floater endorsement that acts as stand-alone coverage so certain valuables are covered for their appraised value.

  • Who Should Buy This Add-On Insurance?
    Let’s say you have an engagement or wedding ring, you might be wondering: who should buy the insurance — the person who purchased the ring, or the recipient? The answer lies in the current ownership — if the couple isn’t living together, then the person who is currently holding onto the ring, whether on a finger or at home, is the person who should insure it.

couple talking with an insurance advisor

If you have special valuables in your home, be sure to contact your insurer to confirm your current personal property coverage limits and to find out what options you have to help protect your investment(s). It’s also a good idea to keep a home inventory of all of the possessions in your home (including their value). This makes it simple to access a list of your belongings quickly in the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim.

Home Business Endorsement

Work from home on a full-time basis? You’ll need extra insurance to help mitigate the potential loss of anything related to running your business like equipment, electronics, inventory, furniture and other property. And, an even greater risk is liability. If you have customers, delivery people or employees visiting your home and an accident happens (like a customer falling on your walkway), or if you’re sued because of a product or service you provide, you should consider this endorsement. Because personal liability on your regular home insurance policy doesn’t cover these work-related scenarios, speak to your insurer about limits on your home policy and what extra coverage you may need.

woman working at her home office

Identity Theft

Identity (ID) theft has been on the rise and is a common topic in the media. According to recent statistics from the Government of Canada’s Anti-Fraud Centre, from January to June 2015, Canadians reported 2,936 complaints about ID theft and 11,226 ID fraud complaints, which equated to a $6.5 billion dollar ID fraud loss. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, here are some common ways that your ID can be stolen:

  1. Phishing schemes or Internet hacking where your personal information is collected.
  2. Responding to unsolicited phone calls or emails from someone pretending to be from your credit card company, a representative of a government body, or a bank employee.
  3. Someone watches you enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at a point-of-sale terminal or ABM.
  4. A thief rummages through your garbage to collect receipts and mail with your personal information on it.
  5. Stolen information is used to make false insurance claims or even take a mortgage against your property.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from ID Theft?
You can purchase an identity theft expense endorsement to help you cover the expenses associated with identity theft and its covered disputes. You can also get access to toll-free legal assistance for legal questions.

A thorough review of your property policy can help ensure all your valuable possessions are covered, and that you have any extra coverage you need for things that aren’t included under your home insurance.

Water Damage

You’ve read the headlines and watched the images unfold in the media. Water damage due to sewer backup, ground water accumulating and devastating rainfalls and floods are putting homes at risk. In fact, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, $1 billion is spent yearly on catastrophic losses — most of this is due to water-related damage. The message is clear – water is now one of the leading causes of damage to homes in Canada.

While there are things you can do to help prevent water damage to your home, you may also want to consider adding enhanced water protection endorsements to your property policy to cover some perils like:

  • Damage caused by the escape of water from a sewer, drain, sump pit or septic tank.
  • Water damage resulting from a malfunction of your sump pump.
  • Sewer back due to water overflow from a body of fresh water.

Talk to your insurance agent about the coverage and endorsements that may work best for you.

Do you have questions about endorsements? Let us know in the comments below.