Why won’t insurance companies cover my home too?

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I’m currently renting a home, but living with my boyfriend at his place. Why won’t insurance companies also provide coverage for my home?

Asked July 15, 2015

1 Answer

For insurance companies, insuring a home that is predominantly empty is a much higher risk than insuring a home that is occupied. In the case of a rented home that you are not living in, the chances of a burglary are greater, and there is also the increased danger of no one being there if an emergency which could be corrected occurs. Because the risk is higher, the insurance company will not issue a standard renters insurance policy.

This does not mean that you can go without renters insurance. In fact, you need two types of policies, one for the vacant home and one to protect your belongings at the residence you stay at. Even if your boyfriend has a renter's insurance policy, your possessions are not covered under the policy unless you are classified as a couple. For many insurance companies, you must live together for a period of time, usually 1 to 4 years, before you can be treated as a couple for home insurance purposes.

For the dwelling you are not living in, insurance companies offer special policies to cover unoccupied dwellings. This type of policy is typically written for landlords with an empty rental, but can also be used by renters who are temporarily staying in another location. This could be cohabitation with a significant other, traveling out of town on business, or any number of other reasons why you are not currently able to occupy the home. Vacant dwelling policies can be written for short periods of time, ranging from 1 to 12 months.

Having your possessions in more than one location creates a lot of risk. It might make more economic sense to put the things at your unused home in storage, where it can enjoy the additional security of around the clock monitoring and restricted access to the area. Even there, your possessions will need to be insured, but a standard personal property policy should do the trick.

Answered July 23, 2015 by Anonymous

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