The Car Insurance Endorsement Guide

car insurance endorsement guide

What Is A Car Insurance Endorsement?

A car insurance endorsement is an additional coverage you can buy to add special perks to your auto insurance policy. Sometimes you’ll hear them called “riders.” Car insurance endorsements usually last for the entire auto policy period and need to be renewed at the same time. If your current car insurance policy gets canceled, the endorsement is canceled as well.

Today we’ll discuss some of the various endorsements a consumer or business owner can add to their policy. From modified auto endorsements to roadside assistance, we’ll introduce you to these valuable add-ons.

Modified Vehicle Endorsements

Modified vehicles aren’t usually covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Suppose you’d like to supe up your new Subaru WRX STI for rallycross with aftermarket parts like an external wastegate, alcohol injection, roll bars and a roaring exhaust. In that case, you’ll likely appreciate this coverage. Otherwise, your insurer might not want to cover damage to these modifications after an accident.

The same concept applies to other expensive modifications like wheelchair lifts and equipment you attach to a work truck.

Modified vehicle endorsements don’t cover some items.

Generally, if an item isn’t permanently attached to the vehicle, it isn’t covered by this rider. A subwoofer in your trunk, for instance, isn’t bolted down. It will always be at risk of theft and is not considered a modification.

Many modified cars won’t depreciate the same way a standard stock vehicle does. That’s why some specialty auto insurers like Hagerty and Grundy offer an agreed value policy. With this policy type, the car owner and insurer agree upon a value and insure the car for that amount. If your car is “totaled” after a wreck, you will be paid that amount. If you’re considering insuring a classic car with an agreed value policy, we’ve addressed this topic in details here.

Rental Car Coverage

Rental cars aren’t cheap. That’s why most insurance agents will tell you that rental car coverage is one car insurance endorsement you need to have. And for many owners, this is the case.

  • Rental car coverage comes into play after a covered accident.
  • The insurance company will pay a set amount every day for your rental car while your vehicle is repaired.
  • Every car insurance company offers different options, but you can usually buy this rider for a few dollars a month, and the insurer will then pay $20, $30, or even $100 per day for your rental ride.

This particular car insurance endorsement is usually very affordable, and it will pay for itself if you use it just once. It’s an excellent choice for commuters who rely on a single vehicle to get to work every day and for family caregivers who do a lot of driving for their loved ones.

But you may not need this endorsement. If you have several tagged and road-ready vehicles, it’s an extra cost that you don’t need to pay. Drive one of your other vehicles while your main ride is getting repaired.

It’s not the same as insurance for a rental car.

Finally, rental car coverage has nothing to do with a car you might rent to go on vacation or a business trip. It only pays for a temporary replacement while your vehicle is in the shop after a covered accident. (Usually, if you are the named insured on a regular car insurance policy, you will be covered in a rental, with the same coverages as if it were your vehicle.)

Roadside Assistance / Lockout & Towing Coverage

Roadside assistance may also be called lockout and towing coverage. This car insurance endorsement usually includes a toll-free phone number that you can call for help. It’s helpful if you lock your keys in the car or need to “jump” a dead battery.

If you’re like this author – and not mechanically inclined – this car insurance endorsement can be a great stress reliever! It feels good to know you can call for help if you get a flat tire on a rainy night (that’s when all flat tires seem to happen!)

Mexico Tourist Endorsements: Car Insurance Endorsements for Driving in Mexico

Are you thinking about a quick trip to Mexico City? Your standard US auto insurance policy won’t cover your vehicle in Mexico.

These car insurance endorsements are available from major insurers like GEICO, and unlike other riders, you have the option of buying them for a few days, six months or as an annual endorsement. If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, ask your insurer about other valuable car insurance endorsements, like roadside assistance in Mexico.

Now that you know about some of the most common car insurance endorsements let’s answer your most common questions about them.

Do Car Insurance Endorsements Cost More?

Generally, yes. Any time you need more insurance or special perks on an auto insurance policy, you will be paying a slightly higher premium. Most riders are relatively affordable, especially when you consider the peace of mind they will bring to you.

“Which car insurance endorsements should I buy?”

Every driver is unique, and every auto insurance contract is a unique agreement between the insurer and insured. As a rule, most insurance agents will steer you towards these:

  • Rental car coverage for commuters and single-vehicle owners
  • Rideshare insurance endorsements for Uber and Lyft drivers
  • Glass coverage, because windshields are delicate and expensive
  • Roadside assistance, especially for seniors and non-mechanical personalities

But there are many more options available!

Pet injury insurance riders are becoming more popular. They pay for veterinary care if your pet is injured in our car during a covered accident. If you transport your show dogs around the nation to compete, this would be a good car insurance endorsement to have.

Accident forgiveness endorsements allow you to pay a little more every month now so your rates won’t immediately increase if you’re in a fender bender. We can imagine this rider making some parents of teenagers very happy.

Ultimately, spend some time researching the various car insurance endorsements available. And NEVER drive in Mexico without one.


EINSURANCE is a one stop shop for insurance quotes comparison. Our writers, researchers, and industry experts all work together to inform consumers about online insurance marketplace. Whether you’re buying your first car insurance policy or finding health insurance for your families, EINSURANCE always provides latest relevant information to your choices.