From coordinating moving truck rentals to making extra space in your closet, there’s a lot to do before your boyfriend or girlfriend moves in with you, and sorting out your insurance coverage should be near the top of your list.
When your partner moves in with you, it’s important to find out if your existing home or tenant insurance policy will protect them, too. Coverage rules vary by location and by insureropens a pop-up with definition of insurer, so reach out to your home insurance broker to make sure you and your partner are fully covered before you hand over your spare key.
Will my current home or tenant insurance policy cover my partner, too?
Most home and tenant insurance policies will automatically cover your partner if you’re legally married when they move in. However, if you’re unmarried and living with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the rules are slightly different, and your policy may not automatically extend to your partner.
Insurance coverage for unmarried partners largely depends on where you live and your insurer’s definition of the word spouse. The Government of Canada says a spouse is a person to whom you’re legally married. However, this definition varies from province to province. In Ontario, for example, a spouse is someone you’re legally married to or someone you’ve lived with in a marriage-like relationship — often called a common-law relationship — for three years. In British Columbia, the same applies, but you only have to live with someone in a marriage-like relationship for two years. If your partner qualifies as a spouse based on your province’s definition, they will likely be covered by your home or tenant insurance policy — but insurers don’t all follow the same guidelines.
Your insurance provider may have a different definition of the word spouse or other criteria your partner needs to meet in order to be covered by your policy. Some insurance providers may even be less strict than you might expect when it comes to protecting your live-in partner. In fact, if you’re an Economical customer, your home or tenant insurance policy will likely cover any unmarried partner who is over the age of majority and lives with you. But that’s not always the case, and you’ll need to check with your broker to see if your partner is covered by your existing policy.
Should my partner purchase their own home or tenant insurance policy?
In some cases, your broker may advise your partner to purchase their own home or tenant insurance policy if they’re not covered by your existing policy. For example, if your partner moves into your home and pays rent to you, they may need to purchase their own tenant insurance policy.
Before your partner purchases their own insurance policy, ask your broker about adding your partner to your existing policy as an “additional named insured.” A named insured is a person who is designated by name in an insurance policy and is protected by what’s outlined in the policy — as the policyholder, you would be the primary named insured. An additional named insured is a person who is added to a policy and has the same rights and responsibilities as the primary named insured, but won’t be responsible for paying the premium. When discussing additional named insureds with your broker, it’s important to remember that — like the term spouse — the definition of an additional named insured can vary between insurance providers.
Before your boyfriend or girlfriend moves in with you, reach out to your licensed home insurance broker to find out which option will provide the best coverage for both of you.
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