Policy Detail - WHO Is Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance?
Hundreds of articles cover the all-important question of WHAT is covered by your homeowners insurance. (We should know. Our blog features a ton of articles focused on demystifying coverage.) What about the equally important question of WHO is covered? Google that question, and… nothing. Nada. Zilch. Bupkis. All articles default back to “WHAT.”
It’s time to fix that.
When it comes to the question of WHO is covered by your homeowners insurance, what general rules and conditions apply to most policies? And which changes and endorsements can you add to ensure that typically non-covered parties get covered?
Translating the insurance-policy legalese into plain English, standard homeowners policies cover:
- You (naturally!)
- Residents of your home who are either:
- Your spouse, if a resident of the same household
- Many states also include partners in civil unions or domestic partnerships
- That all said, to avoid any undesirable hair-splitting, it’s highly recommended that you include your spouse or partner as a “named insured” on your policy
- Your relatives — this includes kids and stepkids, parents and stepparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews
- “Relative” isn’t usually a defined term in a policy, which means it may be defined differently by different carriers
- To make sure you understand your policy’s specifics, it’s important to closely review your policy or ask your agent
- Individuals under the age of 21 who are in your care, or in the care of a relative who’s a resident of your home
- A student enrolled who is enrolled in school full-time who lived with you before moving out to attend school, provided the student is either:
- Under the age of 24 and your relative — so yes, a kid who’s away at college is still covered
- Under the age of 21 and in your care, or in the care of a relative who’s a resident of your home — which means your Italian exchange student is also good to go
- Nonresidents to whom you’ve legally entrusted care of a pet or other animal, or a motor vehicle or watercraft covered by your policy and housed at your insured property
- In other words, when your 14-year-old neighbor Maddie comes over to feed your cat and check on your garage while you’re away, she’s covered
- Your spouse, if a resident of the same household
Who’s NOT Covered?
- Your 30-year-old roommate Paul, who’s not related to you
- Your 43-year-old significant other Chris (you’re not yet related and s/he isn’t in your care — no matter how many times you’ve done Chris’s dishes or laundry)
- Your 25-year-old daughter, Lisa, who’s STILL finishing up that History degree
- Your mom’s best friend Carol, who lives rent-free in your guest house with your mom
- Tenants or other renters (e.g., Airbnb, VRBO)
- Visitors to your home, whether for business or pleasure
- Robin, who works full-time at your residence
- Tom, the general contractor renovating your bathroom
Of course, you can arrange for many of these folks to be covered by your homeowners policy. Shannon simply needs to be added as a “named insured” in your policy. Covering the others requires including them as “additional insured” and adding policy endorsements such as:
- Other Members of Your Household: This adds coverage for roommates like Paul and Carol and significant others like Chris for personal property, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments to others.
- Additional Insured – Student Living Away From The Residence Premises: This can cover Lisa’s personal property, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments to others.
- Assisted Living Care Coverage: This can cover a relative’s personal property, additional living expenses, and personal liability once they’ve moved to an assisted-living facility.
- Additional Insured – Residential Premises: This adds on-premise-only liability for your dwelling and other structures for the named person.
Talk to your agent so that you fully understand what is and isn’t covered by each endorsement.
What About My Employee, Robin? My Contractor, Tom? Or My Renters?
Insurance requirements for employees like Robin vary from state to state. Several considerations may or may not apply to your situation. You should ensure in advance that Tom has purchased his own insurance coverage. This Insurance Information Institute primer offers more details.
If your home will be occupied by tenants or renters, you have several options. Talk to your agent about endorsements, separate policies (e.g., landlord policies), or requiring tenants to purchase renters insurance as a condition of their leases.
Here at Covered, we’re focused on making insurance easy to understand and painless to purchase. That’s why we’re dead-set on educating you about the stuff that matters. By putting you, the customer, first, we help you — and Paul, Chris, Carol, Lisa, and Robin — get the coverage you need.
Still have questions about who’s covered by your homeowners insurance? Covered’s insurance experts can help you with a free policy review. Give us a holler at (303) 302-9927 or send us a message.