YOU ASK:

Does homeowners insurance cover all residents of the home?

WE ANSWER:

Let's delve into the details and know what the term "insured" means in a standard homeowners insurance policy to determine what makes a qualified resident. The insured includes you (the person who bought and owns the policy) as well as people who live in your home:

  • Who is your spouse
  • Who are your relatives
  • Who are below 21 years old and who are under the care of any person named above (namely, yourself and your relatives who are residents in the house)

As for persons who live in your home who are not relatives, this may depend on how the insurance company will treat the case. Whether they are qualified residents will depend on the insurance company's policy on that matter.

Here are some examples of how "qualified" residency is applied:

  • A person is divorced from his wife and he moves out of the house. The homeowners insurance is in the name of both the divorced husband and wife. The husband is not considered a resident since he does not live in the house.
  • Children of divorced couples who have joint custody. The court has ruled that these children are qualified as residents for both the house of the divorced husband and wife.
  • A friend who lives in the house. Generally, he will not be covered due to the fact that he is not a relative.
  • The homeowner rents out a room to a tenant. The insurance will not cover the tenant since he is not a relative. The homeowner should have a landlord's insurance policy while the tenant should have a renters policy.

A qualified resident will be covered by the homeowners insurance for the following:

  • Loss or damage to property
  • Liability for injury or damage caused by the qualified resident or his personal property

Please also note that residents are not payable for liability under the policy. That means that if your wife (who is living in the house) breaks a leg because she fell down the stairs, she can't sue your insurance for liability with regards to the accident. Since the wife is an insured under the policy, she cannot file for damages since as an insured she cannot make a claim against herself.

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