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News from Falmouth – Accessory Apartment

May 12, 2017

After three long years of revamping the accessory apartment bylaw, the Town of Falmouth finally approved it during its 2017 Spring Town Meeting. This will help facilitate the town’s mission to create more housing without onerous permitting.

So – what is an accessory Apartment

It is an additional dwelling unit, located in either the principal dwelling or an accessory structure on the lot. It also needs to maintain the appearance and essential character of a single family dwelling or accessory structure thereto located on the lot.

Accessory Apartments & Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners should be aware that if the tenant is not an immediate relative or another person under the age of 21 and in the care of a named insured. They are not considered to be an “insured” by an homeowners policy. To ensure that they can receive coverage in event that they cause bodily injury or property damage to others they should obtain a tenants policy, also known as an HO4 policy.

Also an unendorsed homeowners policy allows for up to two roomers or boarders to occupy an insured residence. However the policy excludes coverage to the tenant’s personal property in an event of a loss. In this case, tenants should purchase a HO4 policy, to protect their personal belongings.

Another point, the home owner should be aware the homeowners policy excludes theft by tenant from their residence. Contact your local agent to see if coverage can be obtained on the homeowners policy.

If the rented accessory apartment is over a detached garage or a detached structure, then there is no coverage for the homeowner or tenant on the standard homeowners policy – be aware of that!! That is the detached structure, contents in the structure as well as the tenants stuff. The homeowner MUST contact their agent and add “Additional Structure Rented to Others” endorsement to their homeowners policy. The Tenant should also purchase a HO4 tenant’s policy, for coverage of their personal property and liability protection.

How can you get a tenants policy?

Call, text, email or walk into our Bourne or Falmouth office and review with one of our risk advisors. For as little as $10 a month you should consider a tenants policy, and you would be eligible for a discount on your automobile insurance!!

Contributors: Calvin D. Mathis III, John Vokey