Who is covered by my homeowner’s policy?
Family members of the insured are automatically covered. This list includes spouses, children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins twice removed, etc. If a legal document connects you to the other person, like a marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption decree, etc., then that person is deemed family.
There is no legal document to prove that someone is your cousin, but there is a path to proving the relationship. You can verify that your parent and the cousin’s parent are siblings from their birth certificates showing your grandparents as the same. So, your birth certificate and your cousin’s birth certificate can be confirmed through a bit of research to be related.
Other than your spouse or adopted children, you don’t get to pick your family members, but at least they are covered by your homeowner’s policy the same as the homeowner. (Just because the policy covers them, you still have the right as the property owner to ask them to leave.)
The policy covers only one group of people that are not family. If a friend of your child under the age of 21 lives with you and under your care, they are covered. “Under your care” means you treat them the same as your child regarding feeding them, providing shelter, etc.
Once they turn 21 years old, this non-family member status goes away, and your homeowner’s policy will no longer cover them.
Who is not covered by my homeowner’s policy?
If someone is not a family member or a child under the age of 21 who is not related to you, they are not covered. You have your good friends stay at your house while their kitchen gets remodeled? They are not covered while in your home.
Your BFF from college needs a place to stay for a few weeks (regardless of the reason); they are not covered. Your child’s 30-year-old fiancé moves in until they find their own home; the fiancé is not covered until they are married.
Your boyfriend or girlfriend stays with you or moves in with you; they are not covered even if they are a full-time occupant. There can be an exception if two people are long-term partners and are a couple in every sense of the word, but they are not married.
If they can show the insurance company that both cars are registered to the address and that they are both contributing to the household care and finances, they may be able to have both parties listed on the policy. The insurance term for this is “named insured.”
But if they do not make an effort to become listed as a “named insured,” they will technically not be covered. This typically does not change the cost of the policy, so if this scenario matches your household, make sure you have everyone listed as a named insured.
People who rent from you are not covered.
Your BFF from college may offer to pay you for staying in your home. Provided you are still living at home, there is nothing wrong with receiving some money to cover some of your costs, but this does not in any way get them included in your policy.
Have you thought about renting your home using an Airbnb or other service? Not only are the temporary occupants not covered, but you should also confirm with your insurance agent that you, as the homeowner, will have coverage.
Do not make any assumptions about this, as insurance companies are still refining how that coverage may or may not work. More details on this topic are in the article “Will my home insurance cover Airbnb rentals?”.
Can my BFF, child’s fiancé, or other non-family member get coverage?
There is a straightforward solution; they can get a renter’s insurance policy (even if they don’t pay rent). This policy covers their personal belongings and provides liability insurance for them. It does not cover your home in any way, only them and their “stuff”. The good news is that this type of policy is very inexpensive and readily available.
For details about the various types of coverage available, you can read more in the article “How to Get Homeowners Insurance.”
Your next homeowner’s insurance step
You have now become more enlightened than most regarding who’s insured on a home insurance policy. There are plenty of other topics you can review if you wish to continue your educational journey. We recommend looking at “How Should I Insure My Most Valuable Things?” next.
If you’ve had just about enough insurance knowledge, and are ready to turn things over to us, tap the Get a Quote button below. Or, if you have a question we haven’t answered, use the contact us form below, and one of our insurance pros will provide an answer ASAP.