Guide to Renters Insurance with Roommates

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

As a renter, you want to make sure your belongings are protected from the unexpected. This is where renters insurance comes in. Also known as tenant insurance, this is a type of home insurance coverage that helps protect you and your belongings while you rent. While renters insurance is typically one of the more affordable forms of coverage, you may be wondering if you can save money by sharing a renters insurance policy with a roommate. Here’s what you need to know.

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. If you want to make sure you, your roommate and your belongings are all protected, you’ll want to make sure you either name your roommate on your policy or you each purchase individual policies.

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

Any claim filed under a 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, the history of the claim will still be on your policy and 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

  • Establish trust: 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. 
  • Plan and budget: Be sure to establish a budget and a routine for paying the premium to ensure no payments are missed. 
  • Take an inventory: 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. 
  • Look for discounts: 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

If you decide to add a roommate to your renters insurance policy, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some steps you can take for security and peace of mind when adding someone to your 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 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. 
  • Take stock of your belongings: 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 Find the Right Renters Insurance Policy

If you have questions about adding a roommate to your renters insurance, we can help. At SelectQuote, we have over 35 years of industry experience and knowledge to guide you through the insurance shopping process. We can search a variety of carriers in just minutes, quickly and easily finding a renters insurance policy that meets your needs.

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