A named insured is a person who’s covered outright under a renters or home insurance policy – that includes the policyholder and anyone else living with them related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
Who's a named insured?
As we mentioned above, the owner of the policy is a ‘named insured,’ along with anyone else living at their place and related to them by blood, marriage, or adoption.
FYI: Any named insured can add or update the conditions/coverage on a policy and file a claim.
Let’s take a medical-related example. Your husband gets attacked by a dog and is sent to the hospital. Since homeowners insurance covers dog bites, he has the ability to file a claim for the resulting medical bills even if you happen to be the policyholder.
And who's not?
Well, anyone that doesn’t fit the above. That means your roomies, girlfriend, boyfriend, and (unfortunately) partners, etc. aren’t covered under your standard renters or homeowners policy.
Not to worry, though. You can add them on to your policy via an endorsement called additional insured – more on that below.
Named insured vs additional insured
It’s important to understand the difference between these two terms, as they are often confused with one another.
While we already established named insureds are those implicitly covered by your renters or homeowners insurance policy, additional insureds are explicitly covered, since they have to be added on.
Additional insureds are people who aren’t naturally covered under your policy, but added on using an endorsement. This may include partners, unwedded spouses, and others you live with but don’t fit the above definition, or even people with a financial stake (aka insurable interest) in your place that’d stand to lose if something bad happened.
Pro tip: For renters, tell your roommates it may be cheaper (and easier) for each of you to get your own insurance policy, rather than adding them on as an additional insured and having to get more coverage for the both of you.
Wait, how about them kids if they're away at college?
Renters and home insurance only cover your children away at college under the age of 24.
An important condition of this whole college business is if they aren’t in school full-time (as defined by the school), they aren’t covered, regardless of age.
Let’s use an example:
Say you have a 20-year-old in college and another 25-year-old in grad school. If they were living with you before going off to live on campus, your younger kid would be covered while the older one wouldn’t.