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7 FAQs on Common Room Insurance

Posted on May 6, 2011 by HSC

A lot of you have expressed interest in the new common room insurance recently made available exclusively to residents of housing providers insured under HSC’s group insurance program. I thought I’d take this opportunity to address some of the most frequently asked questions about the new program.

Do my residents need this insurance for regular meetings or casual gatherings (i.e.: teas, card games)?

No. This insurance is intended for one-time events that may or may not include alcohol. Your residents may want to host a family dinner or other celebration like a wedding shower and ask for the use of your common room for such an event. Whether you charge a rental fee is up to you, but you should consider adding an insurance requirement to your usage agreement that requires event organizers and/or hosts to purchase event insurance coverage for it.

We rent our common room out several times a year. Is this insurance available on a yearly basis or only for one event at a time?

Because the intent of the common room insurance is to cover one-time events, a new policy must be purchased for each event separately.

Sometimes we rent our common room to outside agencies or organizations. Can anyone buy HSC’s common room insurance or is it available only to my tenants?

Anyone renting your common room for an event may purchase the insurance, but outside agencies or organizations will likely already have their own insurance coverage in place and won’t need to buy additional coverage. Simply ask them to have your corporation added to their policy as an Additional Insured for the event and ask for proof of the insurance.

What is the benefit to my corporation in requiring our residents to purchase their own insurance? Can’t we rely on the corporation’s insurance policy?

Yes, you can rely on your corporation’s insurance policy to cover you for these events, but by doing so, any claims that arise from an event in your common room put on by one of your tenants or outside agency will be reported under your policy under your corporation’s name. This means that your insurance company will have to pay costly investigation and legal expenses to defend you against allegations made surrounding the event, even if your only involvement was to supply space for the event to occur. Your claims history and loss record will reflect these types of claims as well and may affect your insurance premiums. In addition, if the claim is settled for money damages, you will have to contribute your deductible to the settlement.

But what if my corporation is named in a lawsuit anyway along with the event organizers? Won’t my insurance policy still have to respond to it?

No. If your residents purchase HSC’s common room insurance for their events, your corporation will automatically be added to the policy as an Additional Insured so that even if you are named, you are protected. The common room insurance policy will be called upon to respond, not your corporation’s policy. When a policy is purchased, a copy of the Certificate of Insurance will be sent to your office for your records.

Our common room rental contract and/or user agreement does not currently have any insurance requirements in it. Should we add a requirement in and where can we get help with the wording?

If you are going to make insurance a requirement of the rental contract or user agreement, the wording for it should be added to your current contract or agreement. Any wording should be clear and unambiguous. Your best option for assistance with wording is to obtain legal advice.

How much does the insurance cost and how do our residents apply for it?

Premiums will vary based on the number of expected attendees and whether alcohol will be served. Rates start as low as 27$ for coverage of $2,000,000. Applications and additional information may be obtained from our webpage on our Common Room Insurance coverage.


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