First off, what’s an endorsement you ask? As defined by the Insurance Information Institute, an endorsement is a written form attached to an insurance policy that alters the policy’s coverage, terms, or conditions. When an insurance policy is endorsed, the premium paid for the policy can change. However, not by much considering the additional coverage provided.
The following four endorsements are not typically part of a regular property or general liability insurance policy, but they are a must if they apply to your operations.
- Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability: Hired & Non-owned auto is a small endorsement which can have a huge impact on your general liability insurance coverage. It protects your business from bodily injury and property damage claims caused by a vehicle you rent or borrow; or caused by vehicles owned by others, such as your employees. A simple errand to the store by an employee can put your business at high risk if you don’t have this endorsement on your general liability policy.
- Employee Benefits Liability: Liability of an employer for an error or omission in the administration of an employee benefit program. Coverage is intended to extend to the “administration” of these plans, including counseling employees, handling records, enrolling/terminating/cancelling employees in specified plans on a timely basis, etc. This endorsement is usually added to the general liability policy but may also be provided by a fiduciary liability policy.
- Earthquake Sprinkler Leakage (For CA & other earthquake regions): Earthquake is an excluded peril on a standard property insurance policy and your fire sprinklers bursting as a result of an earthquake and discharging water all over your property is not covered either. However, by adding an Earthquake Sprinkler Leakage endorsement to your property policy, you would be covered for the water damage caused by bursting sprinklers from an earthquake. This is never more than a few hundred dollars to add.
- Sewer Drain & Backup: Fall and spring tend to be the wettest seasons of the year, making buildings and homes most susceptible to the backup of sewer or drain lines. These events don’t occur often, but when they do, it can become a small disaster. A standard property insurance policy excludes coverage for such an event. The backup of sewer and drains as well as the failure of a sump pump is also excluded on a standard property policy. The damage you sustain from either of these problems will not be covered and you’ll be responsible to pay for the loss and the clean up. You shouldn’t go without this coverage endorsement.
To reiterate, it’s never more than a few hundred dollars annually to add any of these endorsements to your existing property or general liability insurance policies. In fact, it’s usually less than $100 in many cases for small businesses. With the amount of coverage provided by adding them, this is pocket change! Be sure to reviewyour policies today to see if you carry these endorsements on your current policies.