Coverage may lack key elements

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Keeping home and automobile insurance policies up to date couldn’t be more important .
You might not have the coverage you think you have. Your insurance policy may have changed and you might not be aware of the changes.  Prices of items in the home as well as the home value might also have changed.  
Let me introduce the concept of endorsements, which are defined as: a clause in an insurance policy detailing an exemption from or change in coverage.   Endorsements are often part of the state law.
After our F-350 King Ranch truck was stolen from our driveway in late December 2010, the word endorsement took on an entirely different meaning to my husband and me when we filed our automobile and homeowner’s insurance claims.  
We had purchased an endorsement for the amateur radio equipment that was installed in the truck.
At that time, nothing was mentioned about any other endorsements being available. Thus, we were unaware that we needed an endorsement for items that were added to our truck after it was purchased.  
These customized items included the tool box, dash cover, bug shield and headache rack.  Our out-of-pocket expense for these items was close to $1,000.
I was telling a friend of mine in New Mexico, about our insurance situation. She shared with me her experience with her insurance company after a water pipe broke and flooded her basement.
The insurance company, (different from mine) told her they would fix the basement but none of the personal belongings would be covered because there was no endorsement to cover these items.  
She had never heard the word endorsements in connection to homeowner’s insurance and the last time they checked their policy, these items were covered.
My advice is to check with your insurance company as to what is and what is not covered in your policies and ask the price of additional endorsements.
If your insurance agent does not know the answer to a question about your insurance, it is your right to get a telephone number for an adjuster. Then call and ask the questions.   
The amateur radio equipment endorsement cost only a small fraction in comparison to what it would have cost for us to replace the radios and antennas.
The insurance agency sells the policy but it does not have all the answers.  
Remember insurance policies are written by lawyers, there is often a fine line between the way the policy was written and how it is interpreted by the adjuster.
For example, the tools used only for our truck may or may not be covered by insurance depending on how the adjuster interprets the policy.  
Our adjuster for truck insurance said the homeowners insurance would cover the tools, the adjuster for homeowners insurance said if the items were in the garage they would be covered, but since they were in the truck, they were not covered.  
I intend to update my insurance policies yearly, and at that time check to see if I need additional endorsements.  Then I can rest assured that if a disaster happens — I will have adequate insurance.  

Joan Pomeroy
formerly of Los Alamos