Owning a home comes with many different freedoms and luxuries. In addition, you may have the flexibility to host others in your home.
Have you been faced with any of the following situations? *
- Things are getting more serious with your significant other, and they find themselves staying over more often than not.
- You have the opportunity to lend a helping hand and welcome a friend to stay at your place during troubling times.
- You need assistance with paying the bills, and opt to get a roommate.
These examples, or any of similar circumstances, do not necessarily qualify an individual to be protected under your Homeowners Policy. Your Homeowners Policy only covers an “Insured.”
An “Insured” is defined in the policy as:
- You (the person named on the policy)
- Your Spouse (must be a resident of the same household)
- Resident Relatives
- Legal Domestic Partners
- Any other person under the age of 21 who is under the custody of the person named on the policy
Clearly, your friends do not fit the definition of an Insured. Should you and your significant other get engaged, he/she would still not be covered. Therefore, their contents would not be covered under your policy. The definition of an Insured is also the same for condos, co-ops and renters policies.
Let’s look at this scenario for clarification: *
Hosting a gathering of mutual friends with your houseguest sounds like a fun idea. However, when one of your friends falls and gets injured in the home, they subsequently sue the both of you for their injuries.
Your policy will only defend you in this lawsuit and your houseguest will be left to hire an attorney at their own expense. Once again, they do not meet the definition of an Insured, so property coverage as well as liability coverage will not apply. This would turn into an unfortunate source of newfound stress.
The best way to ensure that everyone in your household has contents and liability coverage is seeing to it that additional residents purchase their own Renters policy. As always, please contact your broker for more information on all the possibilities. Every company has different guidelines for these situations.
* The examples in this post are intended to educate the reader generally about the benefits of insurance, through the use of hypothetical “details” including coverages, cash values and premium costs. These are approximations based on the author’s experience, but are not facts that would necessarily apply to the reader’s own situation or to that of any other person. Reliable information regarding such items as coverages, cash values and premium costs may only be obtained through formal communications with your broker.