What does it mean when I see ‘personal lines insurance’?

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2013

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2013Fact Checked

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Asked July 17, 2013

1 Answer

Personal Lines Insurance is the term used to distinguish individual insurance from their commercial and business counterparts. Commercial lines insurance, for example, includes auto insurance, liability coverage, and coverage for the building, where personal lines insurance offers car insurance, liability coverage, coverage for the home, and personal property policies. You can purchase this type of insurance from a personal lines agent.

For an individual, the risks are lower than for a business. For one example, you'd generally have a lower property value to insure; for a business, especially one that is a "9-to-5" company, it is more likely to experience vandalism and theft, placing it in a higher risk category. Even simple business risks can lead to financial losses greater than what a typical driver or homeowner would experience. Another thing to consider is that the average commercial insurance consumer is profiting off of whatever property they need insurance coverage for. This means that they will need different lines of insurance than other customers.

Of course, that's not to say that personal insurance lines don't cover loss of property. Most individuals will have one or more policies that cover their personal property. The home and auto policies include protection for items they contain, but many people discover that they need additional property protection, purchasing separate policies for things like computers, smartphones, gun collections, or jewelry.

Personal lines is a term that includes all private policies, and/or non-commercial products. This could mean an auto insurance policy or life insurance. They are designed to guard the average consumer from personal risks and protect individuals from losses.

Home and car insurance, liability coverage, property insurance, and umbrella policies are some of the most common ones, but other types of personal lines insurance exist as well. Even things like landlord insurance fall under the private coverage category because landlord insurance is just one of many types of homeowner's insurance policies.

To distinguish the two, an apartment building, even though it contains dwellings, is a commercial building. The property owner would purchase commercial property insurance on the building which is similar but not identical to a home insurance policy. As with a landlord policy, the tenant is responsible for furnishing their own home insurance, and the property owner is responsible for the dwelling and other structures and common areas on the property. This difference is that one building is used to generate a profit, while the other is being used as a single-family dwelling in an assumed fair exchange of cost.

Answered July 17, 2013 by Anonymous

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