A policyholder refers to the person who owns and is covered under a given renters or home insurance policy.

Who is a policyholder?

A policyholder is the person who owns the insurance policy. So, if you buy an insurance policy under your own name, you’re the policyholder, and you’re protected by all of the details inside.

As the policyholder, you can also add more people to your policy, depending on your relationship. Most policies automatically cover all residents of your household who are related to you by marriage, blood, or adoption. While they won’t be “policyholders” necessarily, they will be covered under the same policy as yourself as named insured.

You can also add extra people that live at or have a financial interest in your place – these extra people are referred to as additional insured.

Pro tip: Always take into account the stuff that additional people on your policy own (other than you, the policyholder) to ensure you all have enough coverage!

Who else is covered besides the policyholder?

In your typical HO3 or HO4 (home or renters) policy, you’ll see that your policy also covers residents of your household who are:

  1. Your relatives; or
  2. Other people under the age of 21 in your care or in the care of a resident of your household who is your relative

Note: in the case of kids away at college, renters and home insurance will only cover students away at college under the age of 24.

And is there a need for additional coverage?

Ideally, anyone outside of your immediate family (read: anyone other than your mom, dad, brother, sister, children, grandparents, etc.) should generally seek additional coverage.

This isn’t because you feel any less close to them. It’s so you’ll all have enough protection should bad things happen.

So if you’re living with a second cousin or another distant relative, it’s probably better that you each get your own policy. If you’re living with your sister, just make sure you buy enough coverage for all of your (and her) stuff!

Also, keep in mind with two policies, everyone will have their own personal liability protection which is important when bad stuff happens.

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