I think most of us probably know the proper useage of an apostrophe. To show possession (Mary's shirt), omission ('09, y'all), plural posessive (all the shoes' laces). Click here for a good site on the apostrophe.

But what about "homeowners policy"? Since it's a singular policy, I would think it would be a singular possessive homeowner. Of course, there could always be two people who own the policy. But, in general, it seems the insurance industry doesn't use an apostrophe in "homeowners policy." So should we?

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How are you? One of these days I'll make it to a get-together

But back to homeowners association - I don't use an apostrophe - just an association of which many belong but no one owns it
Hey, Shelly. I hope you can make it to one of the SoCal CSR Outings. They're always lots of fun. I'll be doing another one in a month or so, so be ready! :)
I think I don't use an apostrophe and look at it as descriptive rather than possessive.
I do not use an apostrophe for homeowners policy...

But I do find myself confused more often than not about "workers compensation."

Should that have an apostrophe somewhere?
Workers' Compensation is a governmental body, so I cap it. And the California Division of Workers' Compensation uses an apostrophe, so I guess we should too.

Now if I could just be sure about homeowners policy. I think it's become commonplace to not use an apostrophe, but that doesn't necessarily mean it shouldn't be used by us. Punctuation and grammar rules still apply to us. I'm thinking if it's only referring to one person's policy, it should be homeowner's policy; more than one person or multiple policies, homeowners' policies.
I don't cap workers' compensation unless they state the entire division or board or whatever agency they're talking about. I use it like social security. I don't cap social security number just like I don't cap workers' compensation claim. But I always use an apostrophe with workers' comp and workmen's compensation.

As an added authority, SearchMaster uses apostrophes with both and doesn't cap them. It also has homeowners insurance without an apostrophe.
This would be a good question to put to The Apostrophe Protection Society: http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/

I am glad this question was raised because it forced me to learn more. I love this kind of talk! :>)

After doing a Google search, I found the below-referenced snippet:

The key question to ask yourself when deciding whether you need an apostrophe is if you are talking about possession or ownership. If you are, you need an apostrophe. If you aren't, you don't need an apostrophe.

Depending on the context, the same words may need to be punctuated differently. Here's an example:

Did you mail the homeowner's insurance policy?
We now offer homeowners insurance.

In the first sentence, we're talking about one insurance policy that belongs to one homeowner. It's possessive, so homeowner's needs an apostrophe.

In the second sentence, we're talking about the type of insurance the firm is now offering. Homeowners is a descriptive word—an adjective—so it doesn't need an apostrophe.

Also, some sources say to treat proper names and general phrases differently. Using that rule, you could argue for American Medical Writers Association, but also writers' group.

Source: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-apostrophes.aspx [Retrieved 24 April 2009]


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