Do I Need Renter’s Insurance or Am I Covered By My Moms Homeowner’s Policy?

Two Family HouseDear Sherri, My mom owns a two-family house. She lives on the first floor and I live on the second floor. If there were a fire or if there were a theft in my apartment, would my belongings be covered under my mom’s homeowner’s insurance policy?

Thanks, Donna

Hi Donna,

This is such a great question because due to the economy, so many young people are going back to live either with their parents or in property that their parents own. If you are living in the same unit with your parents, the answer would be yes, your belongings are covered by your parents’ policy since the definition of an insured is as follows: “You (the person named on the policy), Your Spouse (must be a resident at the same household) Resident Relatives and any other person under the age of 21 who is under the custody of the person named on the policy.” But don’t get too excited. In your case, the answer is no, you will NOT be covered under your mom’s policy as you are not living in the same unit or household. Living in the same building does not qualify you for free insurance. Therefore, you need to purchase a Renter’s Policy whether you are paying rent or not (if you are not paying rent, I am going to be so jealous that I might have to slap you!). A Renter’s Policy will protect your personal contents in your apartment and your personal liability. Always check with your agent to be sure your policy is providing you with the coverage you need.

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  • Pamela

    Sherri,

    Please don’t slap me. My mom bought me a condo/townhouse. She owns the property. Her purpose is so that I live close enough to her to take care some of her living needs and for her to not have to pay for a 24-hour companion/aid. She is also paying for homeowners insurance on the unit. Do I still need to purchase renters insurance? I am not paying her rent.

    • mtobol@cgtmarketing.com

      I would NEVER slap you… You’re too far away! Anyway, thanks for the great question, but the short answer is yes, you still have to get your own Renter’s Insurance if you want protection. You see, your mom’s policy protects her house and contents at HER location. However, that has nothing to do with your residence. You still need a policy to protect your contents and to protect you in case someone sues you specifically. How much coverage do you need? That’s something you need to discuss with your insurance agent. Either way, make sure you get it because Renter’s Insurance is NOT expensive.

    • Elizabeth DiGiovanna

      Your mom should have a condo rented to others policy, and you should have a renter’s policy. Homeowners/Condo policies are intended for owner/occupied residences.