The answer will depend on what type of policy you have. Let’s take a moment and do some background review first….
What makes up a homeowners insurance policy?
In its most basic form, a homeowners insurance policy is a package policy covering both property and liability. Within the property category, you can cover the dwelling and personal property (if you own where you live), or just contents if you’re renting where you live.
Examples of typical homeowners insurance policies
The words in parentheses refer to the policy contract/form (industry abbreviation). HO stands for homeowners, so you can easily see they are all a form of a homeowners policy. The first two are for homes you own and live in and renters is pretty self-explanatory.
- Homeowners (HO3)
- Condo (HO6)
- Renters (HO4)
A homeowners policy insures the dwelling and contents. A condo policy also insures at least a portion of the dwelling and includes contents. The renter’s policy covers your contents only- it isn’t meant to insure the dwelling, since you don’t own the dwelling.
So you MAY be able to transfer your homeowner’s from one house to another, but again it depends on the type of policy you have.
Example of homeowners where you can’t transfer from one house to another
Using the abbreviations above, the HO3 form is one where 99.9% of the time you cannot transfer. The reason is simple- HO3 forms insure a specific location and you can’t just swap one location for another.
Here’s an example of policy wording for an HO3 from one of our companies.
PROPERTY PROTECTION-SECTION I- OUR PROMISE - Dwelling Coverage “We” will pay for loss to: 1. “your” dwelling at the “residence premises” shown on the “Declarations.”
The last part of that sentence is the reason why you can’t transfer your homeowners from one house to another when you insure the dwelling. It states “At the residence premises shown on the Declarations.”
The policy is written SPECIFICALLY for the premises shown on the declarations. When you change that premises to another, the policy no longer applies.
So a new policy has to be written for the NEW residence premises.
Example of homeowners where you MAY be able to transfer from one house to another
Condo policies have some coverage for the dwelling, but are mostly designed to insure contents. The idea is simple- most condos are owned by the condo association with the owner being responsible for insuring from the drywall inward, so there’s not a lot of need for dwelling coverage. For more information about condo agreements and how they relate to condo insurance, read our article. You can also read Part 2 of the condo series-there’s lots of helpful information about the differences between a condo and a home policy.
So it MAY be possible to simply change your location. This would vary by company, so you should check first. If allowed, then you can update your location address, and you’ll probably have to answer some additional questions about this new location.
Example of homeowners where it’s VERY possible to transfer from one house to another
Since we are NOT insuring the dwelling for coverage, the renters policy does not have the policy language you saw in the first example above. So the chances are pretty good you CAN transfer your renter’s policy from house to another. Your insurance agent may need some additional information, but a simple location address change shouldn’t be difficult.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of the situations where you’ll get a “Yes”, a “Maybe” and a “No.” It’s pretty clear the type of homeowners policy will decide whether you can transfer from one house to another and how easy it is. As always check with your agent to see what is permitted.
Need help with your homeowners insurance? Have questions you can't get answered? We'd love to help you- homeowners insurance is a specialty of ours! Call us at (937) 592-4871 or request your homeowners insurance quote from our website.