So you have decided to take the next big step in your relationship and asked your girlfriend to move in your home. The two of you are now trying to figure out how to fit all of her "stuff" in your home. Where are you going to put all those clothes, handbags and shoes! But did you ever stop to think "are her belongings covered under your homeowners policy?" The answer is NO! Your Homeowners policy only covers an “Insured”. The policy defines an Insured as:
• You (the person named on the policy)
• Your Spouse (must be a resident of the same household)
• Resident Relatives
• Any other person under the age of 21 who is under the custody of the person named on the policy
Clearly, your girlfriend does not fall under this definition therefore her contents would not be covered under your policy. The definition of an Insured is the same for condos, co-ops and renters policies.
Now your girlfriend is all settled in the home. She decides to have a “Girls Night” at the house and one of her friends falls in the home and is injured. She sues both of you for her injuries because you’re the owner of the house and she’s the one that hosted the party. Did you know that you are covered under your policy but your girlfriend is not? Again, she does not meet the definition of an Insured. That's grounds for a huge argument definitely not the best way to start this new chapter of your lives.
There are several ways to ensure that everyone in your household has contents and liability coverage:
• Name the person as a Named Insured on the policy.
• Add the person on by endorsement such as "Other Persons in the Household" endorsement
• That person can get their own Renters policy.
As always, please contact your broker as every company has different guidelines for these situations.
With today's changing family dynamic, we strongly encourage you to review your policy with your insurance agent and make sure that everyone in your home is covered under your policy.
Now that you have the insurance covered, the rest of the relationship is on you!
- Sharon Davidson