What Is a Reinstatement Clause?

A reinstatement clause is an insurance policy clause that states when coverage terms are reset after the insured individual or business files a claim due to previous loss or damage. Reinstatement clauses don't usually reset a policy’s terms, but they do allow the policy to restart coverage for future claims.

Key Takeaways

  • A reinstatement clause is part of an insurance policy that stipulates when coverage can begin again after a recent accident.
  • While filing a current claim from a customer, an insurance company may not want to restart coverage again until the claim is complete, leaving the customer uninsured for that period.
  • A customer can ensure their coverage begins again as soon as possible by including a reinstatement clause in their policy.
  • The reinstatement clause will detail when coverage restarts as well as if there is a change in the coverage limit.

Understanding a Reinstatement Clause

A reinstatement clause states when coverage terms are reset after the insured files a claim. Individuals and businesses purchase insurance policies to cover themselves from damages or losses caused by specific perils, such as fires and floods. Coverage is triggered when the damage or loss occurs, at which point the insured can file a claim to receive money to cover damages.

The amount that the insured can recoup from the insurer is set at a maximum amount, called the coverage limit. This limit may be set on a per occurrence, per risk basis, or aggregate loss basis.

Insurance companies that are still processing a claim may want to limit any further coverage for an insured customer until the current claim is paid out. In order to be covered from future damages while an existing claim is still active, the insured customer would have to make sure that the policy is reset after the first damage or loss and the coverage is renewed right away. This is done through a reinstatement clause.

Reinstatement clauses indicate the point at which coverage restarts. The restart may be triggered by a claim being filed or by a claim being paid out by the insurer. Additionally, the clause will indicate whether the coverage limit is reset or whether the same limit applies.

Insurance Policy Reinstatement

The ability to reinstate a policy is not guaranteed by law, so the availability of a reinstatement clause may differ between insurance providers and policies when reinstating a previously expired policy. It largely depends on how much time has elapsed since an insurance policy has expired, the company writing the policy, and the product type being reinstated. It might be less expensive to get a new insurance policy than to reinstate an old policy. 

Example of a Reinstatement Clause

For example, a business purchases a property insurance policy, and the business operates in an area that occasionally has floods, but the frequency of the floods is typically low. Over the course of the summer, the area receives more rain than expected, and the business is damaged by floodwaters. After the business filed a claim for this damage—but before the claim was settled—another storm passed through the area and caused additional damage. Because the policy had a reinstatement clause that reset coverage after the first claim was filed, the policyholder was able to make a subsequent claim following this second, separate flood.