DEFINITION OF ‘RESIDENT RELATIVE’
Spouses and relatives that an insured party shares a residence with. Resident relatives are given a special status in the language of insurance policies, and in some cases are automatically included as an insured party. This coverage applies even if the resident relative is not a named insured. Homeowner, property, casualty, auto, and personal liability policies often contain language outlining who qualifies as a resident relative.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS ‘RESIDENT RELATIVE’
Understanding whether an individual is or is not a resident relative is an important factor in determining insurance coverage. For example, the brother of an individual who has purchased an auto insurance policy would be covered under a Class 1 auto insurance policy. The brother is provided uninsured motorist coverage in all locations at all times. A family friend, however, would not be covered.
Insurance policies require a relative to be residing with an insured party in order to be covered. An adult visiting his parents over the holidays would not qualify as a resident relative because he does not reside at the home on a consistent basis. The language of the insurance contract will define what qualifies as a resident. Typically the requirement is that an individual should physically reside at the same domicile as the named insured. Resident relatives do not have to be a sibling or child. The brother of a spouse who resides with the named insured would qualify as a resident relative as long as he physically lives in the same home as the named insured.
Simply living under the same roof does not necessarily qualify. In many cases, insurers will examine the relationship and intent of the individuals to determine whether coverage will apply. Courts typically allow children attending college to be considered resident relatives, as well as children of divorced parents who spend time in separate homes based on custody requirements. A deciding factor in determining coverage is whether the individual was living at a specific location when a loss event occurred.