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What is an endorsement?

An endorsement is a form that adds to or changes an insurance policy in some way. Every insurance company has their standard policy which defines coverage, exclusions, the claims process and other details. An endorsement is an amendment made to the policy, at the time of activation or at a later date.

Types of Endorsements

You can have exclusions that aren’t inherent to the policy, but are added after the fact. Exclusions eliminate coverage for some type of risk. They narrow the scope of the coverage, for various reasons.


Endorsements may add coverage that isn’t in the standard policy. For example, a business owner may want commercial auto insurance, if he has a car, truck or trailer that is owned by the business or used for business purposes. This would not be included in a carrier’s cookie-cutter policy, but can easily be added as an endorsement, either at the time of activation or after the policy is in place.


Similarly, there are endorsements that simply alter the terms of the existing coverage. It may expand the existing limit or reduce the scope of existing coverage to be more restrictive.


Finally, some endorsements are more bureaucratic. They may be used to clarify the content of the policy or simple alter the language in a minor way. An endorsement could also be used to change the carrier’s or the insured’s mailing address or correct the name of the policyholder.

Common Endorsements

Additional Insured

General contractors (when you’re working as a subcontractor), property managers and homeowners who are clients often request to be added as the additional insured under your liability policy. Additional insured status is given by adding an endorsement to the policy.


Additional insured means that your insurance policy covers another person or business. As the additional insured, your client doesn’t need to pay premiums on your policy, but they still have coverage.


For more information see our guide on additional insured.


Certificate Holder

In a nutshell, as the certificate holder, As the certificate holder, your client doesn’t have any rights to your insurance policy. Your insurance agency will just inform him of any changes to your policy.


For more information see our guide on certificate holders.


Waiver of Subrogation

To understand what a waiver of subrogation is, we first need to understand what subrogation itself is. Technically speaking, subrogation is the substitution of one person or group by another in an insurance claim, including transfer of any associated rights and duties. 


If a claim is made against your insurance company, your insurance company may sue your client to cover the damages. If he doesn’t have enough coverage, your client will need to pay out of pocket, or his insurance company may increase his premium rate. By requesting that you add waiver of subrogation, your client wants to prevent your insurance company from suing him for the damages paid.


For more information see our guide on waivers of subrogation.

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