What is a car insurance endorsement?

Also called a rider, an insurance endorsement changes or adds to your car insurance, usually for an additional fee.

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Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Car insurance covers the damage you cause in a car accident, and a full coverage policy includes coverage for damages to your own car, but that’s just the beginning. You can choose a variety of add-ons, typically referred to as an endorsement or a rider, to give you more protection.

An insurance endorsement changes your insurance policy, allowing you to add other coverages or adjust standard coverages. Basically, an endorsement allows you to customize your policy to meet your needs.

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There are some car insurance endorsements that are useful for most drivers, like roadside assistance, and other endorsements that only apply in very specific circumstances, like classic car coverage or custom parts and equipment coverage. Endorsements of all kinds can help you personalize your auto insurance policy, but they aren’t free — if you add an endorsement to your coverage, expect to pay a higher premium.

Key takeaways

  • An insurance endorsement changes your insurance policy, allowing you to add other coverages or adjust standard coverages.

  • Each endorsement comes at an additional cost, which could be a few dollars a month or hundreds of dollars each year, depending on the endorsement.

  • Some common endorsements are rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, GAP coverage, full glass coverage, accident forgiveness, and rideshare insurance.

  • Some less common endorsements are antique or classic car coverage, exclusion endorsements, pet insurance, modified car coverage, and commercial use coverage.

List of common car insurance endorsements

There are several auto insurance endorsements that are relatively common, meaning you’ll find them at most major car insurance companies, including:

Endorsement

What it does

Rental reimbursement

Covers the cost of a rental car (usually between $20-$45 per day) while your car is in the shop if your car was damaged by a covered peril.

Roadside assistance

Covers towing and labor costs if your car breaks down on the side of the road, including towing, tire changes, jump starts, winching, locksmith services, and fuel delivery.

GAP coverage

Pays off your car loan if your car is declared a total loss. If you have a loan on your car, the lender likely requires you to purchase this endorsement.

Full glass coverage

Allows you to file a claim to replace broken glass in your vehicle, usually with no deductible or a very low deductible.

Accident forgiveness

Allows drivers with a clean driving record to file an accident claim without increasing their insurance rate.

Rideshare insurance

Provides coverage for drivers who use their car to drive for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft.

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List of unusual car insurance endorsements

Some people have unique needs when it comes to car insurance. There are many less common endorsements available for your car insurance, including:

Endorsement

What it does

Miscellaneous type vehicle endorsement

Changes the policy by adding a definition for a miscellaneous type vehicle, like a motor home or a golf cart.

Exclusion endorsements

Sometimes you may need to exclude a driver from your policy, which can be done with an endorsement.

Pet coverage

Medical expenses for pets injured in a car accident aren't usually covered by your car insurance, so drivers who want that additional coverage will need to purchase an endorsement.

Modified car coverage

If your car has custom parts or other modifications you will need a special endorsement to make sure those things are all properly covered by your insurance policy.

Commercial use coverage

If you use your car for business purposes you will need to purchase a commercial use endorsement to make sure you are properly covered.

OEM coverage

Original Equipment Manufacturer coverage guarantees that car repairs will be made with original factory equipment when possible.

Not all of these coverages will be available at every car insurance company, so you may need to shop around and compare quotes to make sure you have exactly the right coverage for your needs.

How endorsements impact your insurance premium

Almost every endorsement comes with it’s own additional cost. A basic endorsement like roadside assistance may only raise your premium by a few dollars each month, while a more complicated or specialized endorsement like commercial use coverage could add hundreds of dollars to your annual premium.

However, it is important to remember that insurance premiums, even premiums for endorsements, are determined by a number of factors. Your driving history has a big impact on your insurance rates, which is why someone with a clean driving record will likely pay less for an endorsement than someone with two moving violations

Each company also has their own internal system for setting rates. For example, USAA advertises adding a rideshare endorsement to your policy for as little as $6 per month, while State Farm charges upwards of 20% of your annual premium for the same coverage.

Do endorsements have deductibles?

Some endorsements don’t have deductibles, while others may have a deductible or even allow you to choose how much your deductible will be when using the coverage.

For example, a rental reimbursement endorsement doesn’t require a deductible. On the other hand, repairing broken glass is sometimes separated out from your comprehensive coverage and given its own endorsement, complete with a glass deductible. Many companies offer (and some states require) a zero dollar deductible for glass damage.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between a rider and an endorsement in an insurance policy?

Rider and endorsement are interchangeable terms that describe adding a change or adjustment to your policy. There is no difference between a rider and an endorsement.

How can I purchase an insurance endorsement?

You can reach out to your insurance agent to add an endorsement to your policy. If you want to compare prices on multiple policies and endorsements, Policygenius can help you figure out exactly which endorsements are right for you.

Are there commercial insurance endorsements?

Yes, you can purchase a commercial use endorsement as part of your car insurance policy. Rideshare drivers will need to purchase a rideshare endorsement to make sure they are covered at all times.

Author

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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