Car Insurance Endorsements Explained

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woman smiling while hugging her vehicle

You’re flipping through your car insurance policy documents and come across a section labeled “Endorsements.” What does this mean? 

The endorsements listed in your auto policy are intended to personalize your car insurance to match your specific needs.

Read on to learn more about car insurance endorsements and what they mean for you.

What Is an Insurance Endorsement?

An endorsement on your car insurance, also called a rider, is a statement that modifies your policy by changing, adding, or deleting coverage or terms.

Think of it this way: Most car insurance policies are pretty standard. Of course, you can change your coverage limits, but overall, the language describing what’s covered is the same.

An endorsement personalizes your insurance for your specific situation. It may:

  • Expand the scope of your coverage
  • Limit or restrict your coverage
  • Change definitions or other languages in your original auto insurance policy
  • Clarify or specify how your coverage applies to certain situations
  • Add or remove specific people as insureds

Common Car Insurance Endorsements

Some car insurance endorsements give you extra coverage on your policies. You may want to add these insurance products to customize your insurance to provide you with the specific coverage you need or want. There are several common coverages available: 

Rental Reimbursement Coverage Endorsement: When your vehicle’s in the shop for repairs after an accident, this endorsement adds coverage for the cost of a rental car over a specified time. It usually increases your premium, so only add it if you need a rental car to get around.

Disappearing (or Diminishing) Deductible Endorsement: Every year you don’t file a car insurance claim, you earn a credit on your deductible (usually $50 or $100). That means when you have to file a collision or comprehensive claim, you may pay a discounted deductible or none. However, there’s typically an additional cost for this endorsement, so you’ll need to figure out if it’s worth it.

Towing/Roadside Assistance Endorsement: This standard rider adds insurance coverage for roadside assistance and/or towing.

Modified Car Endorsement: Have you paid thousands for custom car modifications or an impressive paint job? Then you need an auto insurance endorsement that covers those modifications, so you can have them repaired/redone if your vehicle gets into an accident. It’s not just for cosmetic or performance mods, either. If your car has accessibility modifications, you need to cover those too.

Classic Car Insurance Endorsements: If you own a classic, antique or collectible vehicle, you’ll need a particular insurance policy. That policy may include some classic car endorsements, depending on the vehicle’s condition and how you use it.

Unusual Car Insurance Endorsements

van with commercial use coverage car insurance endorsement

In addition to the more common car insurance endorsements, you may want to consider some more unusual ones for specialized situations. 

Imported Car Endorsement: If you purchased your vehicle from an owner in another country, you might need to buy an import endorsement to cover your vehicle comprehensively. 

Better Car Replacement: By adding a better car replacement endorsement to your policy, if your vehicle is ever a total loss after an accident, your insurance company will give you money for a vehicle that is a newer model. This policy ensures you don’t end up with a vehicle that’s older than your original. 

Miscellaneous Type Vehicle Endorsement: If you have a less common vehicle like a golf cart or motorhome, a miscellaneous type vehicle endorsement allows you to add it to your existing car insurance policy. 

Commercial Use Coverage: If you use your vehicle for commercial purposes, a Commercial Use Coverage endorsement can ensure that your car is insured and covered, even when using it for business purposes.

Exclusions Endorsement: You can exclude a specific driver from your policy with an exclusions endorsement. 

How to Get a Rider for Your Vehicle

Before you start shopping for an endorsement, it’s a good idea to research the different types that are available. This can help you narrow your search and focus on the kind of endorsement that will give you the coverage you want. 

If you would like to add a rider to your existing car insurance policy, you can contact your insurance provider to see what’s available. Many insurance companies can add one to your current policy via phone or online.

If you’re looking for a particular endorsement, especially one of the more unusual options, you may need to shop around to find an insurance company that offers that type of coverage. Getting quotes from different insurance companies can also help you save money. By comparing the available endorsements, you can find an insurance plan and rider that’s right for your needs. 

Compare.com makes it easy to shop for car insurance endorsements. All you have to do is fill out our auto insurance comparison calculator which takes about five minutes. Then you’ll receive personalized quotes from up to 65 insurance companies.


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Endorsement Deductibles

Some endorsements have deductibles, while others don’t. If they have a deductible, they might let you choose the the amount you’re comfortable paying. Generally speaking, higher deductible endorsements carry lower premiums. At the same time, you can expect to pay a higher premium for an endorsement with a lower deductible. 

Since deductibles can vary, it’s essential to consider whether an endorsement has a deductible as you’re shopping around. 

How Having an Endorsement Impacts Your Premium

Some endorsements can increase your car insurance policy, still, these increases are often minimal compared to your policy’s overall cost. 

The type of endorsement you choose will also affect what you will pay. For example, more common and minor endorsements like roadside assistance may increase your premium by just a few dollars a month. Options like commercial coverage, which significantly change your coverage, will cost more.

If you’re interested in an endorsement that removes elements of your existing policy, that won’t cost extra. 

Endorsement costs will also depend on whether the insurance company considers you a high-risk driver. Factors like your driving history, credit rating, education, and even marital status can affect what you will pay. These price variations mean shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple companies before you buy an endorsement is your best bet. 

Car Insurance Riders for New or Financed Cars

If you’re driving a new (or new-to-you) vehicle, you may need one of these endorsements:

Gap Insurance Endorsement:  “guaranteed auto protection” insurance (gap insurance) pays off your loan in case your car is totaled in an accident or stolen. If you’re financing or leasing a vehicle, gap insurance may be required. Pro tip: Most car dealerships can add gap insurance as an add-on at the time of sale, but you can usually get it cheaper through your insurance company.

New Car Replacement Endorsement: This coverage pays to replace your new vehicle with another vehicle of the same make and model, should yours get totaled soon after you buy it.

Car Insurance Endorsements for Rideshare or Delivery Drivers

female rideshare driver talking to her male client in the backseat

If you’re thinking about driving for Uber, Lyft, or a package or food delivery service, you’ll need to check your car insurance. A personal car insurance policy won’t cover a vehicle while it’s in use for business. And while rideshare and delivery companies provide their drivers with some insurance, it doesn’t fully protect you.

That’s when a special endorsement for rideshare or delivery comes in handy. These auto insurance endorsements can protect you during gaps in coverage, such as when you’re actively working but waiting for a ride request or delivery order. A ridesharing/delivery endorsement may also cover a portion of the deductible you’d pay through your company insurance policy.

Learn more about car insurance for rideshare drivers.

Other Common Endorsements

We’ve covered most of the standard car insurance endorsements you might find in your policy, but here are a few more:

Changing the Named Insureds: Let’s say you’re separating from your spouse, and they move out. You don’t want to keep paying for their car insurance, so you might call your insurance policy and ask for your former partner to be removed. The insurer might then issue a new endorsement for the remaining length of your policy that specifies only you as the insured driver.

Named Driver Exclusion Endorsement: This endorsement excludes specific drivers in the household from your comprehensive  coverage or collision coverage. This can help save money, but you’ll have zero coverage for the vehicle if the excluded household member drives it for any reason.

Non-Owned Vehicle Endorsement: This endorsement offers liability coverage when employees drive their vehicles for business purposes.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Endorsement: An OEM endorsement states that only parts made by your vehicle’s manufacturer (not cheaper aftermarket parts) may be used to repair your vehicle.

Contact your insurer if you need an endorsement for your car insurance policy. But before doing that, it won’t hurt to see if you can save on your current policy. Compare.com customers save an average of $720 a year on their car insurance by comparing quotes and choosing a lower-priced option.

Pet Injury Coverage Endorsement: Some car insurance policies include a rider that offers coverage in case your pet is hurt or killed in an accident. If your cat or dog is injured, this coverage can help pay for the vet bills, and a monetary death benefit may also apply.


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FAQs About Car Insurance Endorsements

What is the difference between a rider and an endorsement? 

When shopping for an endorsement, you may also hear the term “rider.” A rider and an endorsement are the same, and some insurance companies use both terms interchangeably. 

Can an endorsement remove coverage from an insurance policy? 

Yes, because an endorsement changes your policy, it is possible to remove coverage. Alternatively, an endorsement can add coverage or alter your car insurance policy coverage. 

 

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