Does My Renters Insurance Cover My Roommates?

If you’re renting and have a roommate, you may be wondering if they’re covered by your renters insurance policy. Typically, a roommate and their belongings aren’t covered by your policy, but there is an option available if you don’t both have your own renters insurance.

While it may not be the best idea for most renters, sharing a policy is an option. Before you sign that dotted line on a shared policy, however, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Use this guide to help you understand the ins and outs of roommates and renters insurance.

How Do I Add My Roommate to My Renters Insurance Policy?

To add your roommate to your renters insurance policy, you should:

  • Make sure both of your names are on the lease. This means subletters and friends temporarily crashing at your pad don’t qualify.
  • Understand that the rules on sharing a renters insurance policy with unrelated roommates can vary state by state, depending on insurance laws.
  • Talk to your insurance agent to learn more about adding your roommate to your policy. They’ll have all the details.

Will All Our Possessions Be Covered?

If you and your roommate decide to share a renters policy, there are few things to note regarding property coverage.

Coverage limits

All insurance policies have coverage limits, which is the maximum amount of money an insurance company will pay you in the event your stuff gets damaged or stolen. When you add a roommate to your renters policy, your coverage limit will not increase, and instead it gets split between the two — or more — of you.

Take note of your possessions

If you decide to add a roomie, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the combination of your possessions and decide whether your coverage limit is enough to cover both of you.

Know the costs of renters insurance

Do your research and understand the cost of renters insurance — you might just decide it’s so affordable you may as well each have your own policy!

How Does Personal Liability Work?

Personal liability coverage is a part of your renters policy that helps cover the costs due to accidental bodily injury and property damage of others. It also will help cover the cost of lawsuit expenses should something happen in your apartment.

For example, if you’re found liable for breaking your neighbor’s window when playing catch, your landlord most likely won’t cover the cost to fix it — but your renters liability insurance will. Or if you were to start a fire in your apartment by leaving a pizza too long in the oven, your landlord might have you cover the cost to repair damages to the unit. Your liability coverage on your renters policy will help pay that price.

One thing to note is that theft from a roommate — whether they’re on the policy or not — is not covered by a renters policy. That includes other intentional damage as well — so make sure you choose your apartment buddy wisely! Here are some great tips for finding a roommate.

Filing a Renters Insurance Claim With a Roommate

When you share a renters insurance policy with your roommate, making a claim is where things can get a bit complex. Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you file a claim, the reimbursement check will be made out to both of you, which means even if the money is meant to cover damages that only affect your belongings, your roommate would still have to co-sign it.
  • Any claims made on your shared policy — whether you or your roommate make them — will go on your personal insurance history.
  • That claim will be on your record and factored into any insurance quotes you get in the future, and can have an effect on how much you pay.

Can I Add My Roommate to My Renters Insurance?

While it’s not recommended, sharing a renters insurance policy with your roommate is possible. Before you do so, make sure you’re on good terms and have an honest conversation regarding expectations. Once you’re both on the same page, you’ll both have peace of mind knowing you’re protected.

Learn more about renters insurance with roommates by chatting with your American Family Insurance agent today.


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Related Topics: Renters