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NYS….When i mention it to other brokers they say it is not necessary and are surprised that they are requesting it. I don’t see the reasoning behind it other than another way to bilk people. He does not rent and is not a tenant.
I had Allstate and they are not renewing due to hurricane risk. Go figure.
This may sound unusual but The contents are not my concern. I just want home owners insurance because the mortgage company requires it. To require me to have anyone living with me to also get renters insurance seems fishy. why would someone be able to sue him if they get hurt? Wouldn’t they have to sue the owner of the property?
Thanks for your answers but you guys are making me paranoid. You’re better off living alone and not having any visitors.just in case something should happen….which probably never would anyway.

9 Thoughts on Is it legal for a home insurance company to require renters insurance for a domestic partner?
  1. Reply
    Miss V
    June 21, 2011 at 4:28 am

    No. If the homeowner has a homeowners insurance company, s/he can allow anyone living there to have their belongings covered as well.

    It’s never too late to switch companies for unfair practices.

  2. Reply
    June 21, 2011 at 5:16 am

    For the insurance company to require it? No.
    But they will exclude the partner’s possesions unless they are listed on the policy. They may also exclude Liability, so if someone sues your partner, it’s a potential backdoor into your assets.

    Just add their name to the policy so that it reads: “Smith, Jane and Grant, Cary”

  3. Reply
    June 21, 2011 at 5:47 am


    Or rather, you have a non-family member tenant living with you. If they don’t want to insure you without the tenant getting renters insurance, they don’t have to. They can cancel your policy, or refuse to write you.

    It’s a good idea anyway, as your “domestic partner” isn’t going to be COVERED under your policy. They aren’t a spouse or family member. Just the fact of them living there does NOT give them coverage.

  4. Reply
    June 21, 2011 at 6:15 am

    most probably, yes, but as usual on yahoo answers you ask a legal related question without mentioning the state and most things are governed by state law.

    i’d like to hear where all these folks saying NO WAY! got their ideas?

    i believe allstate will write you a policy covering both of you, which would be the way to go anyway.

  5. Reply
    June 21, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Yes. The insurance company can require the domestic partner to have a renters policy.

    Your homeowners policy covers you – your spouse – resident relatives (related to you by blood or marriage). This is a standard definition in the homeowners policy. A domestic partner does not qualify under any of these. In essence, a domestic partner is just a room mate that sleeps in the same bed. They have no coverage under your policy.

    Your domestic partner will have to have a renters policy to cover their belongings. Or you can see if your insurance company is able to list your partner as a named insured on your policy as well. It is very common for me to see both non-married people listed as named insureds on the policy. This is usually what a non-married couple will do.

    ** Your domestic partner does not have to be a tenant or a renter to get a “renters policy” – technically known as an HO4. His property is not covered under your policy. He does not meet the definition of and “insured”. If your house burns to the ground, your personal property will be covered – his will not be covered by your policy. That means – your insurance company will not pay for his stuff if it gets damaged. ****

    If you have your partner is listed as a named insured on your policy – now he meets the definition of an insured (remember – “named insured” was one of the ways).

    When you talk to new insurance companies – get the policy in both of your names.

  6. Reply
    June 21, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Well… technically, yes. If you two are not married and the house is only in your name, then your domestic partner’s contents would not be covered automatically by a homeowners policy (regardless of whether you consider him to be a “tenant.”)

    However, there are also other ways to handle that. If you don’t want to put the house in both your names, you could (in most states) list the domestic partner as an “additional insured” on the policy. Keep in mind, though — that’s tantamount to putting the house in both your names as far as the insurance company is concerned. (In other words, if there were to be a loss on the policy, the checks would be made out to the owner AND the additional insured.) If you don’t want your check made out that way, then your domestic partner really should get a separate tenant policy.

    If you’re okay with the checks being made out that way in the event of a loss, then ask your agent if it’s possible to list this other person as an additional insured and whether there will be any extra premium for that (some companies do charge extra for that.)

    Edited to add:
    I have to disagree with AD about one important point. The homeowners policy is supposed to list the “named insured” exactly as it would appear on the deed to the property. That is mandated by state law in the 10 states in which I do business (and I’d be very surprised if it weren’t in all states.) That means adding the domestic partner as a “named insured” would not work unless this person is actually listed on the deed. However, the “additional insured” option could still solve your problem.

  7. Reply
    June 21, 2011 at 7:09 am

    It may or may not be “required” due to the underwriting guidelines of your company. Meaning, if it is in their underwriting guidelines, they can refuse to insure you. It is in his best interest to have a tenants policy because his contents & liability will be covered (worldwide if it is a standard policy, not just in your home).
    If someone comes to your house & is injured, you can both be sued & your policy will only defend you and pay on your behalf if you are found liable. Your partner will not be covered, he will have to provide his own defence (hire his own lawyer) and pay any award out of his own pocket. A tenants policy is CHEAP, he could probably get a minimal one for only $ 150 per year depending on where you live. Let him skimp on the contents limit but have him get at least $ 500,000 liability.
    “Named insured” is named insured & spouse (or party to civil union in some states). An “insured” is insured and spouse & resident relatives related by blood or foster child living with you that you have legal guardianship of.
    An “additional insured” is a co-owner of the property that does NOT live there. Additional insured only gives building and liability coverage, not contents coverage.
    If you want to add him as named insured, he really needs to be on the deed. I know of no company that will add a domestic partner as named insured unless he is an owner of the house AND lives there. If he is a named insured, any claim check for a building loss will be in both of your names (plus any mortgagee). He has to sign the check to cash it. If you are on the outs, this may not be wise. Also, if you break up, he has to sign off to be deleted as named insured on the policy & sign off on the deed if you have added him.
    To be best covered & for you not to have to add him to the deed (I know of someone that added their partner to the deed for $ 10,000 loan & when they broke up, he was forced to sell the house & she got 50% of the proceeds – way more than $ 10,000, not pretty).

    edit—If someone went to see HIM or BOTH of you or the postal carrier was delivering his mail or both of your mail, you can better believe, he would also be sued. Everyone is named in a lawsuit that can be named, not JUST the owner of the property.
    Also, another thing that can happen, he is home alone (you are at work for example & he is home sick), he leaves a pot on the stove & burns up your kitchen, your homeowners policy will pay for it (fire damage) but because HE was at fault for it & is not a named insured & not an owner of the property, the company can go after him for the damages by what is called subrogation. If he has insurance, his insurance would pay under liability because he would be found at fault (accidental of course) for the damages. If he has no insurance, he would have to pay for the damages out of his own pocket. This is another reason why your insurance company may want him to have a tenants policy – so they have a place to collect if he accidentally causes damage to the property. If he doesn’t have any money in the bank or doesn’t have a good paying job, they would be stuck paying for the damages with no place to go.
    I know of a son that was renting from his mother (NOT her home, it was an apartment over her business). He accidentally caused about $ 200,000 fire damage to the building. Her insurance company paid to fix the damage & then went after him for the damages. She had no say in this, they paid, they can collect from the negligent party. Luckily, he had a tenants policy & his company paid the mother’s company back.

  8. Reply
    Bird Lady
    June 21, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I asked my sisters who both for big insurance companies. They both said that home owners insurance is suppose to cover everything in the home. Whatever else you have covered on that policy. I hope that you know that you need to check it out completely.

  9. Reply
    Alan S
    June 21, 2011 at 8:23 am

    From a Multi-Line General Agent

    “No”, It is not legal for your Home Insurer to require your domestic partner to obtain renters insurance unless they are actually a “Renter”. It may also not be Illegal in your State of Residence. It is however definitely Unethical. If they do this, Then I would strongly recommend you find another more reputable Insurance Company or another Insurance Agent because I can assure you, they are just trying to milk you for more premium.

    A domestic Partner is not a “Renter”, they are a household member and a resident of your home/ No additional or separate coverage is required to cover them or their contents on your existing policy. A “household member” or “resident” does not have to be a blood or marriage related “family member” to be covered.

    There are plenty of Captured Insurance agents out their that would like to scare you into buying additional coverage when none is needed. Remember that Insurance Agents work on commission, So the more you pay in premium, then the more commission we make.

    Such a requirement is highly unethical and as a General Agent I would cancel any appointment my agencies have with that insurer and would no longer offer their product.

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