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Kids Home During Covid-19 Pandemic?

Aug 27, 2020 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Have you noticed that more family members are back in your house since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic?  Our office has received several calls and emails asking if they should add their children back to their auto policies, or if their kids need renter’s insurance, or if the fiancé is covered. With all of our lives changing, it is important to try to make sure we are still protecting ourselves from the accident-prone and litigious world around us. Below are a couple of common questions we have received.

When it comes to auto insurance, you need to list all household members and occasional drivers on your policy. If your child came home for a long weekend and borrowed the car, that is not a cause to add them to your policy. However, if your child is going to be living at home for the next several weeks and months, it is best to add them to the auto policy as an occasional operator.  This will help protect yourself and them in the event of a claim.

Another question we received is whether a child will have coverage for their personal belongings while back living at home. The answer is yes; any direct relative will have coverage through the named insured. This is most commonly between the parents and child. If you are not a direct relative, then you do not have any coverage through the homeowner’s policy. For example, your son and his new girlfriend come to live with you during the pandemic. The son would have coverage for his personal property and liability through the parents’ homeowner policy.  However, no personal property or liability coverage would help protect the girlfriend since she is not a direct relative of the homeowners.  

Customers have been purchasing dogs and trampolines too. Depending on the type of dog, that might be an issue for some insurance companies. The same goes for trampolines. Some carriers are okay with certain dogs and trampolines; others are not. It is important to check with your agent to ensure that you will have coverage in the event of a claim.

We have had several customers making renovations to their homes during the Covid pandemic.  Some of the renovations are minor (painting, flooring, bathroom, etc.); however, some customers have added three-season porches, garages, and pools. All of these larger changes (typically including increased square footage) are important to report to your insurance agent to ensure that you have enough coverage for the new additions.

When it comes to insurance, make sure to check in with your agent whenever you have new household members or are making changes to your property.  At Ostrander Insurance, we are here to guide our customers.

Article written by Paul Ostrander of Ostrander Insurance ( Paul can be reached by phone at 508-966-1116 and by email at [email protected].

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