In previous columns, I have explained that endorsements can change a home policy by increasing or decreasing limits of coverage. Endorsements also can add coverages that were never intended to be in a home policy, but were included due to public demand.

Here are some of the most common endorsements and a brief description of what they cover.

A jewelry and furs endorsement enables you to increase the coverage on individual pieces of jewelry or fur, and to increase the total amount of jewelry or furs you want to insure.

A silver/gold ware endorsement also enables you to increase the coverage on your silver or gold ware.

A firearms endorsement enables you to increase coverage on your firearms.

Home policies do not cover earthquakes or volcanic explosions, but endorsements can be added to provide earthquake or volcanic explosions coverage.

A backing up of sewers or drains endorsement is designed to protect your home in the event a system designed to remove water from the home malfunctions. I recommend this coverage to every person who has a finished basement.

Times change and I am sure some of you wonder who needs furs or silverware or goldware coverage. I admit these coverages are not in demand the way they once were. Changing times have brought a need for new endorsements.

An energy-efficiency upgrade endorsement enables you to replace items such as a furnace or hot water tank with one that is more energy-efficient.

Service line coverage offers an insurance protection for underground service lines failures and related outdoor property that is the responsibility of the homeowner to repair. Utility companies or municipalities are not responsible for gas, water, electric or sewage lines on your property.

For many of us, a home is our largest asset and that includes the heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. When one of these systems has a mechanical or electrical breakdown, the repair is not typically covered by the standard home policy. Home systems protection can be added to your home insurance policy by endorsement.

Internet usage was not thought of 50 years ago, but most of us do not leave home today without our smartphones. An estimated 16.7 million people experienced identity fraud in 2017. With a few bits of your personal information, an identity thief can open credit accounts, secure loans or even enter into contracts in your name.

You can add Cyber Event, Identity Restoration and fraud loss coverage endorsement to your homeowners, renters or condominium unit owners policy.

Always remember that home policies exclude coverage for business pursuits. Simply, if you get paid to do it, your home policy does not cover any liability you may incur or the equipment or buildings you use in the business. Depending on the business, endorsements can be added to provide the needed insurance coverage.

Caring for children in your home may provide extra income, but it also creates a liability exposure not covered in your home policy. A child care endorsement may be needed.

The increasing number of individuals over age 65 has created a need for adult day care. It can be provided in your home and endorsements can be added for that.

Renting your home temporarily to others is a new trend that requires additional endorsement to your home policy.

Registered nurses can add an endorsement to provide professional liability coverage.

My next column will cover things that home policies will not cover and why you may need a separate policy to be adequately protected. As always, talk to your insurance agent.

Bob Hollick is a State Farm Insurance agent based in Washington.

To submit columns on financial planning, investing or business-related matters, email Rick Shrum at

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