Families come in all shapes and sizes, and that's why it's important to choose the right home insurance policy for you and your loved ones.
For example, not all living situations require a full homeowners insurance policy while others may require a bit extra coverage.
In order to find you the best policy that fits your needs, here's what insurance companies need to know about your household.
What counts as a household member?
In general, a household member is an immediate or extended family member who lives with you. This may include spouses, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, foster children, in-laws and step family members. A household member may also be defined as a relative who once lived in your home and plans to continue living there. For example, an unmarried dependent child who lives temporarily away from home to attend college is still considered a household member.
Why should I add people to my policy?
It's important to name your family in your insurance policy so that they are protected in the event of a claim. A typical homeowners insurance policy will cover the dwelling of a home, its contents, and certain liability situations. This coverage applies to not only the policyholder, but his or her family members.
If a friend moves in with me, is he or she covered?
While homeowners insurance policies extend to household members, it may not cover any non-relative who also living in the home. In this case, a renters insurance policy for non-relatives may be a suitable option to protect their belongings. However, if your friend happens to have financial interest in the home itself, it may be possible to add the friend as a co-policyholder or an additional insured.
What if I rent out my home to several non-related people?
Landlords who rent out their homes can choose to protect their property by taking out a dwelling policy.
This policy typically only covers the physical structure of your home if it’s damaged by a covered hazard. It would also cover the contents that belong to you and liability situations. Your tenants should then seek out renters insurance to protect their belongings. If they are not related, they may have to seek individual policies.
What if I don’t live in my home but other family members do?
If you own a home but do not live in it, you should still seek out a dwelling policy, and not a homeowners policy.
This applies even if the residents of the home are family members and not tenants. This is because most homeowners insurance policies cover the policyholder at his or her residence. Other properties under your name should be covered by a dwelling fire insurance policy, which would insure the structure of the home, any contents that belong to you, and help pay in liability situations. The family members should seek out a renters insurance policy, even if they are not paying rent.