Guide to Renters Insurance with Roommates

Two roommates sit on the floor of their new apartment while enjoying cups of tea

Renters insurance, also known as tenant insurance, is a type of home insurance coverage that helps protect you and your belongings if you’re renting vs. owning a home. While renters insurance is often an affordable form of coverage, you may be wondering if or how you can save some money, especially if you’re sharing a renters insurance policy with a roommate. Here’s a guide to renters insurance with roommates.

Are my roommates covered under my renters insurance policy?

A renters insurance policy will not cover any roommates unless they are listed on the policy. Insurance carriers use a variety of factors to calculate the price of a renters insurance policy for one individual, so for every person the policy covers, the higher the risk and the higher the likelihood for a claim will be. This could potentially increase the cost of the renters insurance policy. However, if you’re splitting the cost with your roommate, it could be more beneficial in the long run in terms of both coverage and price. 

Do all roommates need renters insurance?

While you’re not legally required to have renters insurance, many landlords require it as part of the lease agreement. You may be able to meet your landlord’s requirement by having a joint renters policy with your roommate, but getting your own policy is often recommended.

What are the risks of having a joint renters insurance policy with my roommates?

Any claim filed under the renters insurance policy goes on the policyholder’s record and having a claims history can result in higher insurance rates. So, if your roommate were to file a claim that does not directly involve you, you will still obtain the history of the claim on your policy which could impact future policy rates. 

Renters insurance also has liability coverage, which protects you inside and outside of your home, meaning you take partial responsibility for your roommates actions if a liability claim is filed against your roommate. Additionally, if you’re not the policyholder and your roommate misses a payment, you could find yourself uninsured.

What to Do if You Share Renters Insurance with Your Roommate

  • If you decide to purchase a renters insurance policy with your roommate, you’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable linking your finances and insurance history to theirs and vice versa.
  • Be sure to establish a budget and a routine for paying the premium to ensure no payments are missed and you’ll also want to take inventory of what you own.
  • Taking the time to record everyone’s belongings in each room will help you and your roommate calculate the value of your belongings and determine how much coverage you actually need.
  • When you speak to an agent, ask if there are any opportunities for discounts, as sometimes adding a renters policy to an existing policy can be surprisingly affordable.

How to Add People to Your Renters Insurance Policy

Here are some steps you can take to add your roommate to your existing renters insurance policy:

  • Check the lease: Make sure both of your names are on the lease of the place in which you’re renting.
  • Understand the rules of sharing a renters insurance policy: This is extremely important, as the rules for sharing a renters insurance policy can vary state-by-state.
  • Increase your property limits: Because your policy will have to cover more personal items than your own, you’ll likely need to raise your property coverage limits.
  • Make an inventory of your property: In order to make sure you have adequate coverage, take inventory of all of your belongings so you can calculate how much coverage you both need.

SelectQuote Can Help You and Your Roommate

At SelectQuote, we help consumers understand the ins and outs of insurance. If you’re wanting to explore your renters insurance options, we can help you find the right amount of coverage at a price that works for you in just minutes.

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