According to statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth, over the past 30 years more and more people live with someone with whom they have a relationship with prior to or instead of getting married- including about half of all men and women under 44 in the most recently available data. No matter the reason, living with your partner when you aren’t married can present some unique (but not impossible!) challenges to making sure you both have the right insurance coverage to protect your belongings and your liability.
If you purchase your home together, it makes the most sense to obtain a single insurance policy with both you and your partner as “named insureds” on it, since you both have a financial/legal interest in the home.
In cases like this it probably makes the most sense to each maintain a separate policy. If one of you doesn’t have financial or legal interest in the home, most insurance companies won’t allow that person to be added to the existing policy as “Named Insured.” One possible alternative would be to add the person to the policy using a tool known as an endorsement, but even using the Additional Insured endorsement, the person who is added may not have all of their property and contents covered. Therefore, if only one of you owns the home, the best option to make sure each partner has coverage is to obtain separate policies.
While you’ll have coverage for using each other’s cars the one potential gap in coverage would be if you maintained different coverage limits. Some personal auto policies may exclude some coverage for vehicles you drive that you don’t own but are “furnished or available for your regular use,” a description that would most likely fit your partners vehicle.
Suppose you have higher limits on your car than your partner does on theirs. While you would have some coverage under your partner’s policy when driving their car, it would be for those lower limits of coverage than you might have on your own car. If you each have your own cars and policies, you could consider maintaining the same liability limits on both vehicles.
In this scenario your partner could drive your car and have coverage, but if you were to rent a car on a vacation, your partner wouldn’t have coverage if they were to drive it, unless they purchased separate rental car coverage. Another option would be for your partner to obtain a “Named Non-Owner” insurance policy that would allow them to drive your vehicle with their own coverage.
If you own a car together but aren’t married the easiest thing to do is make sure that you obtain a “Joint Ownership Coverage” endorsement.
Discuss your situation with a
Independent Insurance Agent. While being married resolves many of these issues in a more direct way, the great thing about having a
agent is that they have the ability to represent different insurance companies, so that they can work with you to obtain the insurance coverage that fit your needs and your lifestyle now and into the future as life changes.