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Sublessee of Rental Housing is Resident for Purposes of Renter's Insurance Policy
Description Appeals court held that a sublessee of a rented duplex, who used the duplex as her primary residence, was excluded from coverage for bodily injury she suffered when attacked by her roommate's dog. Since she was a resident of the duplex, not a visitor, the policy did not cover her injuries.
Topic Insurance
Key Words Resident; Sublessee
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Neumann rented a duplex in her name. She sublet a room in her duplex to Brenny. The two shared the rent and utility expenses. Neumann's dog bit Brenny, which resulted in medical expenses and lost wages. Brenny sued Neumann, who filed a claim under her renter's insurance policy. The insurer commenced a declaratory judgment action, seeking a determination that the policy provided no coverage for the incident.
Decision A person who rents a room from the lessee of a residence is a "resident of residence premises" as the term is used in a bodily injury exclusion in a renter's insurance policy. Since the duplex was Brenny's primary residence, and it is not uncommon for unrelated persons to live together and share living expenses, she was a resident, like Neumann, not covered by the policy for expenses incurred for her own injuries.
Citation Illinois Farmers Insurance Company v. Neumann, 596 N.W.2d 685 (Ct. App., Minn., 1999)

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