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Even if you’re housebound and only know about the outside world via TV (a frightening thought!), you know families have come a long way from “Ozzie and Harriet” to “Modern Family.” Yet even the modern sitcom doesn’t fully reflect today’s society; remember, the couples in all three households are married, with children!

A simple look around our local communities reveals a multitude of other living choices: single-parent households raising children, singles living alone, roommates (same sex or different), and romantically involved couples living together without marriage. And the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm the trend: Household, thy name is diversity!

Your Trusted Choice® agent celebrates individual freedom of choice, but urges you not to overlook the reality that your chosen living arrangements can have significant impacts upon your personal insurance protection. 

For example, here are two key provisions included in a typical homeowners insurance policy as to who is insured under the policy for loss to their personal property and for allegations of liability for injury to others:

"Insured" means:
a. You and residents of your household who are:
(1) Your relatives; or 
(2) Other persons under the age of 21 and in the care of any person named above; 
A. In this policy, "you" and "your" refer to the "named insured" shown in the Declarations and the spouse if a resident of the same household.

The definition goes on to include certain others, such as students at school or those caring for your pets. But think about the growing number of nontraditional households, and the potential problems are there for all to see. If you are the person named on the policy, here are a few examples of folks you may have living in your household who would be either limited or excluded for coverage under your policy:

  • Non-relatives living in your home.
  • Your partner or significant other who lives with you.
  • Your partner’s children.
  • Roommates, roomers, boarders and tenants.
  • Your relatives who do not live with you.
  • A former in-law who still lives in your home (a situation not unknown when grandparents help to raise grandchildren).

And while damage or loss to personal property belonging to the above may be one concern, potential losses arising from their alleged liability may prove truly disastrous. For example, what if your live-in significant other has a home-based business, or if his or her dog were to bite a passerby? There would be zero liability coverage for that partner under a policy solely in your name.

Your personal auto insurance may have similar provisions that limit or exclude coverage for members of your household — for example when teenage children of your partner are living with you, yet driving a car provided to them by the ex-spouse.

But here’s the great news! Your Trusted Choice® agent will be happy to provide you with coverage options designed to remove or minimize these potential gaps in your personal insurance protection. Whether the best solution is an endorsement, another policy, or simply adding your significant other as a “named insured,” don’t risk leaving yourself unprotected for some of life’s key risks. After all, isn’t just keeping the chaos in your household to a bare minimum task enough for one person or couple?

Now is the time to be sure your personal “Modern Family” isn’t still insured like “Ozzie and Harriet.” Consider your Trusted Choice® agent an extended member of the family, and contact us to schedule a complete review of your personal coverages.

Posted 12:52 PM  View Comments

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Valdosta Insurance Services, Inc.
812 Northwood Park Drive l Post Office Box 2070
Valdosta, GA 31604-2070 l 
Phone: (229) 242-4560 l Phone: (888) 242-4560 l Fax: (229) 242-4561 
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