What is Endorsement in Car Insurance Policy?

Have you got your name misspelt in your car insurance policy? Or have you shifted to a new address or changed your phone number and want to update the details in your policy accordingly? Or do you want to transfer your current car insurance policy with some other insurance company? In situations like these, you can go for making the preferred endorsements with your existing insurance policy.

What is an Endorsement in a Car Insurance Policy?

One often feels the need to make certain changes in their car insurance plans according to their personal needs and preferences. These are called endorsements in a car insurance policy. In simpler words, an endorsement in a car insurance policy is an amendment or an addition made to the existing terms and policies in your policy. Endorsements in an insurance policy can also be referred to as riders. Endorsements allow one to add, delete, alter or eliminate any parts or terms under the policy coverage.

Since the basic purpose of an insurance endorsement is to make changes in the policy, it might be anything ranging from adding or increasing the coverage limits, deducting certain parts (as permitted by law) to reduce the total premium amount, making other alterations in your personal details or making other special amendments to restrict or expand certain terms and scope covered by your car insurance policy, thus allowing you flexibility. With these endorsements, you legally bind your preferred amendments to the insurance contract.

How Often Can I Make an Endorsement?

An insurance endorsement can be made during the mid-term, either at the time of purchasing a new policy or while renewing a lapsed one. Even though there is a common misconception among policyholders that they can make an endorsement for any number of times of their choice, that is, however, not the case. It is recommended that you make an endorsement only once or twice per year and not more than that. Making frequent changes to your policy is not a wise idea as it makes your policy more prone to mistakes at the time of updating these new terms and records. This can cost you more while making any claims covered under your car insurance policy.

Different Types of Car Insurance Endorsements

Endorsements can be of two types. Find them as follows -

  • Changes in Existing Policy Coverage and/or Terms: Changes in an existing policy become a part of your insurance policy and you always need to keep a copy of them along with your existing plan. For example, if you need to make any changes to your personal details like your address or misspelt names or need to update your phone numbers, then, in that case, the endorsements made replaces the original contract document issued to you at the time of buying the insurance policy.
  • Additions to the Existing Coverage and/or Terms: In case an endorsement adds extra coverage to your original insurance policy or adds restrictions to some areas or terms in your coverage, then it might be done as an endorsement too. In that case, only the specific terms and conditions added to the policy, without affecting the entire wording or contract. In this type, these endorsements act as add-ons to the existing policy and must be kept along with the original policy document.

Changes One Can Endorse in a Car Insurance Policy

The following changes can be endorsed in the insurance policy of your vehicle -

  • Change or correction in the engine number
  • Change or correction in the Registration number of the vehicle
  • Change or correction in the chassis number
  • Change or correction in your name, address, phone number or email id
  • Inclusion of a CNG or LPG Kit
  • Change or correction in the vehicle’s seating capacity or the passengers covered
  • Change or correction in the vehicle’s cubic capacity
  • Change or correction in the vehicle’s variant, make or model
  • Including or increasing any voluntary deductibles
  • Any changes or correction in the No Claim Bonus (NCB) of the vehicle
  • Change or correction in the details of the nominee
  • Change or correction in the fuel type of your vehicle
  • Change or correction in the IDV or the Insured Declared Value of your car
  • Change or correction in the year of manufacturing of your car
  • In events of transferring the ownership of the car
  • In cases of a mismatch of any premium amount
  • In case you want to add or eliminate any electrical accessories of the car

How to Make an Endorsement?

Listed below are some steps to carry out the process of making an endorsement in your existing car insurance policy smoothly:

Step 1: You can make an endorsement in your car insurance policy during mid-term, at the time of purchasing it or while renewing the one which has been lapsed.

Step 2: The changes made will be officially recorded by your insurance company with the help of an endorsement certificate. In this document, all the changes, additions, or alterations made in the policy are stated along with the existing terms of your policy.

Step 3: In order to carry out the changes or get them implemented in your original policy, you need to submit a request letter along with other required documents to your insurance company.

Step 4: On receiving your letter, the company will analyse and go through your request and then take necessary actions after it approves it. Your insurance company will then send you a new document of your policy after making the necessary changes.

How Long is an Insurance Endorsement Valid?

Since a car insurance endorsement made has become a part of your contact, it remains valid during the term period of the policy. If you don’t want to make any further changes in these amendments of your policy while renewing it, it will be activated again and remain valid until the next term period of the renewed policy lapses. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, in case a particular endorsement is specified to be valid only for a specific period of time as mentioned in the policy by your insurance company. So you need to carefully read all the terms and conditions of your insurance company before signing a contract or making an endorsement.

What If My Insurance Company Makes Changes to My Insurance Policy?

In case you get a mail or message from your car insurance company regarding any endorsements made in your policy, and you do not know about it, immediately contact your insurance company and inquire about it. Make sure all the changes made are clear to you. In case you have an objection to any endorsement, do let your company know about it and request for alteration. Your company might make changes in the limit coverage or provide some advantages to your policy. Clarify all doubts regarding how a particular endorsement made can change your overall insurance policy.

For further reading:

5 Reasons Why Buying Car Insurance Online Is A Smart Choice

Disclaimer: This article is issued in general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

Source: Acko General Insurance, The Balance, Economic Times.

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