3 Home Insurance Considerations For Multigenerational HouseholdsOctober 28, 2021
Even if you always thought that, at this stage of your life, the number would be decreasing or stagnant at best, you may find the number of people living under your roof to be increasing. Regardless of the reason for people moving in, there are some home insurance considerations for multigenerational households.
As always, insurance is a world of definitions. Within those definitions is where you see what changes the elderly parent, the college graduate looking for a job, or the recent single parent moving back into mom and dad’s house bring to the insurance policy. Here are some of the important home insurance considerations when an immediate or extended family moves in or moves back home:
1. Who is Listed as an “Insured” on the Homeowner’s Policy?
The first thing to consider is who is an “insured” on the homeowner’s insurance policy? By definition, the “insured” means, “you,” “your” relatives if they are a resident of “your” household, and any persons under the age of 21 in “your” care or the care of “your” resident relative. This final definition would include foster children. The key is the relationship between you and the residents of your household and their age.
2. Your Property Coverage Needs to be Able to Adequately Cover Their Property Too
From a Property standpoint, those members of the household would be able to claim coverage from your policy for a loss to their personal belongings. This would include clothing, jewelry, toys, furniture, electronic equipment, etc.
It would be subject to your limits, perils covered on your policy, and your deductible. If that individual has brought substantial property with them or specific high value items, you may need to address this with your insurance professional to make sure you have adequate limits and coverage.
One of the home updates that can affect homeowners insurance is purchasing valuables and increasing what needs to be covered. Although you did not purchase anything personally, when someone moves in and is considered an insured under the homeowner’s policy, their property is considered part of the overall property that needs to be covered.
3. There Are More Liability Risks to Cover
There are multiple types of liability coverage on a homeowner’s policy. The liability coverage for multigenerational households carries more nuances and must be evaluated very closely. There may now be added vehicles in the house and additional drivers; and they may be “youthful drivers”, which increases liability risks. Social media use may now increase as well and also brings the potential for added and different liability exposures related to social media.
Personal Liability Needs to Cover All Insureds
The personal liability section on your policy will extend to cover the personal liability of the residents of your household. This includes bodily injury and property damage caused to others by the members of your household.
Examples would be things such as trips and falls, dog bites, injury to others while golfing or hunting, etc. It does not include injury or damage due to a licensed or registered vehicle. This line of coverage applies to all the “insureds” as outlined above.
You Must be Aware of Limits on All Auto Insurance Policies
Where things begin to become slightly more complicated is with vehicles. Depending on how the vehicles are insured, a situation can arise where an injured party could collect against more than one policy in one loss.
Most insurance carriers will work very hard to avoid this type of situation. It can create a very complicated and messy legal issue. Because of this, it is very important to be aware of limits that are being carried on any and all auto insurance policies of any member of the household. Low limits will lead the injured party to look for additional options for compensation!
State minimum liability limits are usually not enough and are a sure bet for a messy settlement at claim time. Also, never forget that you loan your insurance policy at the same time you loan your vehicle. We would suggest that you know what all insurance policy limits are within the household. If you are not sure, contact the agent for clarification.
Umbrella Liability is Often a Necessary Coverage
There are several reasons why you need umbrella liability insurance. Those reasons only increase when the number of people living in your home increases. Here are some specific home insurance considerations for multigenerational households when it comes to umbrella liability:
Extra Coverage for Youthful Drivers
If you have youthful drivers in the household again, you should seriously consider an umbrella liability policy. This gives you an additional limit of liability protection that sits over your personal liability, and auto liability and other liability policies if they are identified on the Umbrella policy.
In our litigious society, often the liability limits on the homeowner policy and the auto policy are not enough and can be exhausted quickly. These umbrella policies are very cost-effective for the level of protection and peace of mind they provide.
Personal Injury Liability Coverage
One last area to discuss is that of social media and personal injury. With the increased sensitivity of our society with regard to comments on social media and the real-life consequences that can come from them, the risk of “personal injury,” slander, etc., is very real.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. now provide impersonal platforms to disseminate information and opinions. But, you are still responsible for what you, your child, or resident relative of your household decide to post.
Most unendorsed insurance policies do not provide protection for a slander suit. This is a conversation you need to have with your agent. You may be able to endorse your homeowner’s policy, or you may be able to pick up coverage through an Umbrella Liability policy. It varies by the insurance carrier.
These are just a few home insurance considerations for multigenerational households. We hope this has given you some food for thought as your family circumstances may be evolving. If you wish to discuss any of this in detail, please give one of our knowledgeable account managers a call at 800-537-6880 or 717-665-2283.
Disclaimer: Information and claims presented in this content are meant for informative, illustrative purposes and should not be considered legally binding.