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Colorado Insurance Blog

Should My Roommate Be On My Renters Policy?

You share a lease and a home with your roommate, but should you share a renters policy? The majority of the time, the answer is no.

Typically, a renters policy is designed to only cover one “household,” which is the owner of the policy and their family members. Unless your roommate is a relative, they don’t count as an “insured” on most renters policies.

Many insurance companies won’t allow a non-family member to be added on a renters policy, so it’s often not an option to share a policy. That being said, there are some insurance companies that will allow you to add a roommate to your policy. While it may seem like a good idea to save some money by splitting the cost of one policy, there are some other factors to consider.

For one, if your roommate has a claim that doesn’t effect you, it’s still on your policy and that will follow you for 5 years. Even if there is a claim that impacts you both, like a fire, there can be complications when it comes to splitting the claim payment. You wouldn’t each get separate checks to replace your belongings, you’d get one check with both of your names on it. So you should consider how well you know and trust your roommate when it comes to money.

That also brings up the matter of how to split a claim payment. Do you split it 50/50? What if one of you owns more of the furniture? Or if one has more expensive items than the other? Those are all things to discuss before agreeing to share a renters policy with a roommate.

If you’re the one being added to your roommates policy, there’s the risk that they could forget to pay the bill and leave you both uninsured. I highly recommend being the primary policyholder if you are going to share a policy, that way you know it’s paid and active and there haven’t been any changes made behind your back.

Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not your roommate is going to be around long-term. If you move every year, or tend to cycle through roommates frequently, it might not make sense to include your roommate on your policy.

Considering renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, often less than $200 per year, the amount you can save by sharing a renters policy with a roommate may not be worth the risk. You might save $100 per year, but if your roommate files a claim and your future rates increase because of it, you could easily pay back any potential savings.

At Integrity First Insurance, we focus on helping our clients understand their insurance and find the right coverage for their needs. If you have any questions about how renters insurance works or who should be on your policy, email or call us today.

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