Domestic Partner Insurance Coverage Concerns

domestic partner insuranceDomestic partner insurance can be tricky, so it’s important to understand the insurance concerns associated with this type of living situation.

Both gay and straight domestic partners must realize that common insurance laws and practices were set up for the “Traditional Family Relationship.”  This does not mean that domestic partners are unable to properly find insurance for themselves, just that “off the shelf” insurance programs may not suit their needs.

Domestic Partner Insurance

Domestic partner insurance coverage concerns NY auto and home insurance. Please also be aware that the tips and advice contained in these articles are of a general nature.  It would be prudent to verify the information on a per state, per carrier basis before you assume a particular benefit or discount applies to your situation.  We’re specifically discussing the application of domestic partner insurance in New York State.

Domestic Partner Auto Insurance

  • If you and your domestic partner share one car you only need one auto insurance policy.  However, it’s important to make sure that the non-owner (the person who’s name is not on the title of the car) is listed as a secondary driver.  This would be assumed in a traditional marriage arrangement, however not so in a domestic partnership.
  • There are three major discounts associated with every NY auto policy: Multi-Car, Multi-Policy, Marriage.  All three of these discounts are available to domestic partners in most states.  NY insurance carriers will ask for proof of cohabitation.  Proof of cohabitation will include phone/cell bill, utilities, rental receipt, etc.
    • Domestic partners often have two separate auto insurance policies.  By combining the two policies into one with both names there is a significant Multi-Car discount ranging from 5-15%.
    • Similarly combining auto insurance policies with a home insurance policy can yield an additional 5-15% discount for Multi-Policy.
    • Every married couple receives a discount for their marital status.  Far too often domestic partners do not take advantage of this discount.  Most carriers will allow domestic partners to be rated as married if they can prove sustained cohabitation.

Domestic Parnters Home Insurance

  • Similar to a traditional marriage if you and your partner own a home together (both names on deed and mortgage) then both names should be on the homeowners insurance policy and each of you receives the full protection the policy provides.
  • The difference between a traditional marriage and a domestic partnership comes into play when either you or your partner own the home and the other does not.  In this situation there are two courses of action:
    • You can provide sustained cohabitation and add the non-owning partner as an Additional Insured or,
    • The non-owning partner can obtain a renter insurance policy to cover their personal property and personal liability.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to domestic partner insurance for auto and home is that you are NOT automatically covered just because you live with the person.

This is true even if you have lived with the person for a period of years.

Disclosure to your insurance carrier of your living arrangement up-front will provide assurance of coverage and piece of mind in the event of catastrophe.

If you have any questions and concerns about domestic partner insurance or if you would like a quote on your auto and home/renter insurance to make sure you’re properly covered we would love to work with you.  Give us a call at (518) 456-6688 or click here to contact us via email.