a loss payee receiving money from an insurance company

What Is a Loss Payee on an Insurance Policy?

April 5, 2024
Mordechai Kamenetsky

A loss payee on an insurance policy is a person or organization who has a financial interest in the insured property. In the event of a claim where the property is damaged or lost, the loss payee receives payments before the policy holder.

What Is a Loss Payee and who can be one?

A loss payee is someone who gets a payment from the insurance company if damage or loss happens to the insured property. This is a safeguard that ensures parties beyond the policyholder have a stake in ensuring certain assets are protected. 

Most loss payees are going to be people and businesses like lending companies, lenders, and other companies that have a financial stake in insuring a certain piece of property.

For example, if you finance a house or a car, the lender will usually want you to list them as a loss payee on the insurance policy. So, if that car is damaged or the home is lost, the payout first goes to satisfying any debts the policyholder may have to the loss payee.

Being aware of “what is a loss payee” is important, especially when there may be several parties that have an interest in the same property. It ensures everyone attached to the property is protected if a loss occurs. This also reduces the risk for everyone.

Why is having a Loss Payee important?

It adds additional security for everyone involved. Below are a few reasons you may wish to have a loss payee:

Risk mitigation

Risk mitigation

When you choose a loss payee, the insurance provider knows who else has a financial interest in the insured property. This gives them insight into the level of risk so they can choose the right level of coverage and premiums.

Financial protection

Financial protection

For leasing companies and lenders, being a listed loss payee is a way to make sure they get compensation if the property attached to their investment is destroyed or damaged. This creates less risk of loss for the companies.

Compliance requirements

Compliance requirements

In many situations, especially with items like homes and cars, a loss payee is a requirement of lessors and lenders. It ensures that you comply with contractual obligations and the investment remains protected. 

Loss Payee vs. Additional Insured

Understanding the distinction between a Loss Payee and an Additional Insured is important. A Loss Payee is involved primarily with property insurance, ensuring those with a financial interest in the insured property are compensated in the event of a loss. 

On the other hand, an Additional Insured is added to liability insurance policies, extending coverage to other parties not initially named in the policy. This can protect against liabilities arising from the primary insured's actions, broadening the safeguard against potential claims.

What happens when a loss occurs?

If insured property is damaged or destroyed, the insurance payout is directed first towards the Loss Payee to the extent of their interest, before any remaining funds go to the policyholder. This ensures that all financial stakeholders in the property receive fair compensation for their loss.

How to add Loss Payee on Insurance Policies?

The next question for many people is about how to add a loss payee to your insurance policy. Thankfully, this is a simple process. 

Whether you’re getting insurance for a car, a home, or another asset, you can add a loss payee when you set up the policy. 

Just let the provider know about the parties who have a financial interest in the property. The company will assist you with adding loss payees, so all your bases are covered.

There's no additional cost for including a Loss Payee, as it merely directs the order of payment in the event of a claim, without increasing the payout amount.

Updating or Notifying Loss Payees

Another important part of dealing with loss payees is notifying and updating them. Circumstances can change, such as refinancing a loan or updating a leasing agreement, and you need to be certain that the right loss payees are listed on any insurance policies you have.

Being proactive and making sure your loss payee information is up to date can save you a lot of trouble. Avoid potential issues and ensure all parties are protected by updating these payees when needed. It’s critical but simple and essential for managing your insurance coverage.

Ready to explore insurance options that meet your needs? Take five minutes today to get personalized quotes and expert advice for your specific situation. Protect your finances starting today. 

Mordechai Kamenetsky

Mordechai Kamenetsky, co-founder and lead agent of Kickstand, is recognized as an expert in workers' compensation. He is passionate about helping small businesses manage risks and lower their workers' comp costs. In his articles, he educates readers and clients on the intricacies of workers' comp insurance.

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