Kids and Homeowners Insurance Coverages

Find out where you stand if your little ones break their (or your) stuff.
  • Chicago
  • Homeowners insurance

3 minutes read | March 1st 2020

Most people think of homeowners insurance covering expenses if their home is damaged by a storm or they experience a break in, but it covers other stuff, too. Your comprehensive coverage covers damage to your property and the property of others. But what do you know when it comes to insurance and your kids? Kids have stuff. And kids break stuff. Sometimes it's their own stuff, your stuff, or — let's hope not — other people's stuff. So what the heck is covered, and how does this all work? Here's the lowdown when it comes to kid-friendly coverage.

You Break It, You Bought It — Sort Of

Your kids probably have more stuff than you do. Some of it might even be more valuable. Kids aren't cheap, which you know if you bought yours an iPad Pro while you're still languishing in the Dark Ages with an iPad 2.

First the easy part: yes, your kids' stuff is covered under your policy as part of your home's contents. That's an important thing to keep in mind. Whatever your coverage is for the home's contents applies to the items owned by the kids who live in the house. Of course, you might need to figure out if you need extra coverage for electronics or other higher-value items, like that custom-made cello your kid abandoned after a few lessons. If you have multiple computers, gaming systems, tablets, and other popular electronics, make sure your coverage allows for damage done by any WWE-style entertainment that's taking place in your living room.

If the damage your kid does happens on purpose, you could have a problem — in addition to the problem your kid just created in the house. Say your child chucks the tablet down the steps at their sibling; you're on the hook for the expense. Your policy probably doesn't cover destruction that's deemed "willful." Also keep in mind your deductible. Any expense that's under that amount isn't covered, so you'll want to know that threshold before you decide to file a claim.

Child's Play – and Other People's Stuff

Most homeowners insurance policies provide property damage coverage. This means that, if your kid breaks something like your neighbor's fence or window, you could file a claim for that repair. Your liability portion of your policy offers coverage if your child breaks something at a friend's house so you can cover the repair or replacement.

Keep in mind that you need to be sure all structures are covered and listed on your policies. Playhouses or areas and recreation features like a pool or tennis court might require additional endorsements or riders on your policy. Check coverage to be sure that both damage and injuries are covered. Hey, it never hurts to ask, and we're just an email away.

The Old College Try

When kids go off to college, the items they leave at home are still covered under your policy. Some policies can cover the personal items they take to the dorms against theft and damage, too. Check with Pickle to verify this, and be sure your child's items are covered even if they go to school in another state.

Also make sure your liability coverage extends to this so you don’t have to worry if they break something while they're away. If your young adult is living in an apartment, you'll probably need to obtain renter's insurance to cover damage and liability. This is also another time to check coverage on electronics. We're just guessing here, but you probably want to avoid the cost of replacing a laptop when you just paid tuition.

Trying to understand your policy shouldn't feel like you're translating Latin. Check our coverage page or email us to be sure you understand what your insurance actually covers. Pickle is here to help you figure out the details so you, your kids, your house, and all your glorious stuff stays protected under the right policy.